Started the Journey to a Firm Face, nice nose & younger eyes (MAJOR DIVERSION- Mastectomy necessary) AINTREE, GB

Tried to do a review 3 times but lost them each...

Tried to do a review 3 times but lost them each time I tried to upload photos.

So I'll be brief in case this also doesn't post. Gets disheartening when you do a long blog and lose it.

Have made contact with my potential surgeon and am waiting for a consultation date. Now that I've done something towards my journey I feel calmer and quite surreal.

My goal is quite simple "make me beautiful"....... ha-ha hope I can say that to Dr Tahery when I meet him.

Photos posted AFTER this intro posts, so I don't lose it again.


Bit hit and miss over photo uploading on a tablet. Tried 6 times so bear with me.

I never felt firm in my face, even in youth. Only time I had a defined jaw was in my 20s when I literally starved myself to get my breasts smaller. Result was a great (to me) fatless face.

But boobs stayed the same. Eventually got them reduced many years later. See my brief review about it.

Have been taking loads of before pics since finding RealSelf as they will be good for comparison with the after ones.

Past photos I didn't like

I thought my face was all wonky, my teeth horrible, my eyes small and my nose just one huge blob.

I suppose realistically others would see a fairly reasonable looking young lady.


I am having a complete overhaul of my face. It would be fantastic to have all of it done at the same time, but far safer to have procedures done separately.

I may use the same surgeon for all, or get each op done by specialists in each field. A good 'nose doctor' may not necessarily be a good facelifter.

I aim to have the face and neck lift first.....followed by eyes. Then my nose will be altered to suit the 'younger' me.

I don't want subtle, or refreshed.....I want a dramatic result.

Consultation day booked

Got letter today from Nuffield Hospital in Chester. It's on 26 November 2015.

Suddenly my doubts have lessened.......helped along by getting together my portfolio of photos and list of questions to ask.

Main one being how long the surgery will take and if I can have face, neck, nose and eyes done together.

Have been detoxing for over a week and feel great. Did regular face cleansing and massage as I used to do before I got disheartened by my saggy fat filled face...which made it seem pointless to bother with.

Yesterday my guy said you look glowing! Him using a word like glowing seemed so odd ha-ha. So taking better care of myself is getting results already.

Feel excited now,.,even though I feel it's not really happening.

Can't upload photos;!!!!!

Anyone else having upload problems?

Hat and Shades Before photo

My usual going to shops look

Hides so much!

Taken today

There are worse ones than this! All THAT flesh has to go!
Other week I had been awake all night, was really tired looking and took some before photos. I will keep them til near the end to post once I've been done as I'd be too bothered by them now.


Bought a face bra to see what it would be like wearing compression.
Just a wee mad moment!

Low days

Been having a low period. I took some more photos; not for 'befores' as I have plenty of them........but more to find a nice one where I don't look too bad.

And it isn't happening; I look permanently tired and down in the mouth. And I really don't recognize myself at all. Thought I wouldn't even mind looking older so long as I looked pretty too!

But nope.... I look older and uglier. It was only about 4 years ago that I could still produce a photo that looked like me and even passably attractive.

I look at all those here who have great face and neck lifts and get scared in case I don't get a similar result and end up looking a bit younger but still ugly......and no money in the bank.

So on a real downer. I read a review where a surgeon told the lady to stop taking before photos and maybe it's not a good idea to keep trying to get something that won't happpen.....i.e a good photo.

Have got my dentist tomorrow......two weeks later than planned as he had an out of country emergency. Probably gone on holidays more like. So hope my treatment will start tomorrow as I want teeth done before my consult with Dr Tahery in November.
Hope this mood lifts as I hate feeling like this

High days. Dentist

So much better today. Was dreading dentist as I panic when having an impression taken.

But it was great this time, so I'm now back home on a high after seeing my new dentist. Had no problems at all with impression.

And even greater news I will not be losing a tooth I was worried about.

I'm having the gap closed on the front teeth with a veneer. Go back next week for fitting.

So al good at the moment.

Maybe unobtainable?

This digital enhancement is my ideal result, plus upper eyelids which I can't photoshop.

It may be unobtainable but I'll be happy to get as near to it as possible.


After a few weeks of a very worrying period I feel I can now be REAL and tell what is actually happening, instead of omitting a really important development.

So here goes:

February 2015
One morning I found a small red lump like a pimple on my right breast. I thought it was a boil.
Within a week it had broken open to create a sore. I wouldn't let my mind 'go there' (cancer) as I was TERRIFIED.

I didn't google lumps as I didn't want to know what it might be. A rare thing for me as I google everything!
The lump grew and the sore got bigger.
August 2015
Started researching cosmetic surgery, facelift/nose/eyelids and found RealSelf. Got absorbed in the stories and information.
Knew I'd have to have dental work done so set that in motion.
September 2015
Started making enquires to cosmetic surgeons and made an appointment for late November with Mr Tahery in Chester, UK.
Knowing that he would probably contact my GP for confirmation that I was suitable for surgery/or would ask if I had any illnesses/definitely see the wound dressing during examination......I knew I had no choice but to go to my GP.
THEN I googled breast lumps......and tried to reassure myself that it could be a Fibroadenoma but allowed my mind to fractionally entertain the other possibility.
Went to see my GP Bryony Kendall and she and I knew that there was a 99% likelihood it would be cancer. I had quite come to a level of acceptance by then. So of course the immediate referrals happened.
October 2015
23rd Had my first consultation with Mr Lafi at the Breast Unit, Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool. The physical examination and questions, then a mammogram of left breast as the affected right breast was too sore.
Relief that there are no problems in left breast.
Had an excision biopsy there and then on right breast. Was given local anesthetic so didn't feel a thing. Doctor didn't mention cancer but he did say the word 'grade' which means what type of cancer it is.
He gave me appointment date for a CT Scan of my neck to lower belly. "to make sure, before surgery". And my follow up appointment for RESULTS on 4 Nov............. Now the worries started again.
I was very tearful during my post consult with the nurse, who got a folder together for my paperwork and talked about MacMillan nurses........I was in the twighlight zone, everything felt surreal and as if it wasn't about me. Quite like that's sort of comforting.
She also arranged for the district nurse to come to my home every other day to dress the wound.
(It is a fungating wound).
Back home googled what it's like having a CT Scan.
27th Appointment for 8.30am at Radiology department for CT scan. My main dread is the canulla fitting. I am really stressed by them. Anyway, first nurse was fantastic, understood my concern and was so gentle and tried to fit the canulla in my elbow crease which is less painful. Then a loud-mouthed nurse popped her head round the curtain and asked nurse 1 what she was doing.....nurse 1 replied she was have a little difficulty getting a good vein.
With that, univited, nurse 2 just grabbed hold of my other arm, half-tried to use elbow crease vein and just gave up before even trying.......slapped my arm harshly then proceeed to insert in the wrist, saying "if it won't go in there it'll have to go here" in the tone of voice of "I don't give a fk where you want it, I can't be ar@sed with any faffing about, you're having it here whether you like it or not, as as I'm in a fking bad mood, and I'm a real cow I'll make sure I do it as painful and harshly as possible." And THAT brought me to tears unstoppable. She left and nurse 1 carried on the taking me to CT room, and was so nice and gentle. I was still crying when I got on the scan, but went through with it.
Scan was piece of p-ss after that cow's assault. I didn't get claustraphobic and the contrast dye they put through the IV was a strange and quite enjoyable experience. I felt a warm sensation trav el through my body from top to bottom.
Was so glad I mentioned to nurse 1 what I felt about nurse cow, and she sort of acknowledged that she is know to be abrupt and harsh.
Cried all the way home, thankful for the sunglasses I always wear. Not up to driving so used local bus.
The the chemotherapy nightmare, losing my hair,being sick and and and and and everything that could be googled to make me live in a state of sheer terror. But during it all I continued to do my healthy routine, eating good foods and vits etc. (With the horrid devil on my shoulder whispering in my ear....."what's the point, you're gonna die anyway".)
It was only just over a week from first consult......but it felt like a month of worry. (That's me...all or nothing, don't do things by halves.)
I will share the details of RESULTS DAY 4 Nov soon, going to have a green tea and feed the cats..............and there is GOOD NEWS with a bit of bad news too.
BUT let's say.....I shan't be ordering my funeral flowers for a long while yet!!!!!!

RESULTS DAY 4 NOVEMBER 2015 GOOD and baddish

4th With a sicky stomach and dread in my heart I went by bus to the Breast Unit in the afternoon. Place was packed with standing room only. And docs were running 2 hours behind.
At my turn I had hardly sat down, all huge eyed and bracing myself......went Mr Lafi leant towards me with shiny eyes and a bright smile. Putting his hand on my arm he said....."there is are no problems with the scan results; there is a very small area on adrenal but not of great concern, we will arrange an MRI scan.
We consider a mastectomy with maybe some radiotherapy if needed later on.
I'd like you to have an ultrasound for your lymph nodes in armpit.

No mention of chemotherapy........ Yay yay yay????????????????????

Of I went for the ultrasound.,.was a bit shocked to be told I'd have to have a needle aspiration biopsy too. It was twingy but not really painful.....then radiologist said she'd have to do it again as she got blood in the first one.
Finally done I went back to waiting room.......consoled a girl of 26 who'd gone in after me. Waited and waited.
Was so relieved and happy over the news that I didn't have cancer in other organs.
Funny that the word cancer had never been mentioned up to this time in relation to my breast. But it seemed we all KNEW anyway.
Finally I was the last one there and went in to see Mr Lafi and was pleased to see my original nurse Tracey there too.
He had a look at my breast, trying to work out if the tumour was attached to the breast muscle. Confirmed that I wished to go ahead with the mastectomy and I asked if I could have a reconstruction right away. Bit sad that it would be a year before I could have that.
But knowing that I would eventually have a replacement boob helped me to take the mastectomy in my stride and be quite matter of fact about it.

I fairly skipped all the way home happy as Larry. Too impatient to wait for a bus, I walked the 3 miles. Stopped outside a bookmakers, and thought of how lucky and fortunate I went in and put £5 on a horse called Persuasive. My usual betting life consists of 50p on the Grand National (which happens to be not far from my home).

Back home I told my guy my good news over the scan and in most reasurring tones told him about the mastectomy. He was upset, but more for my sake than his own lust issues (he's a breast man........rollseyes.......pah men and their issues over women's bits).

Checked my horse bet and in won 16/1 so won £80!!!!
Did the update above and went for a break........had intended to carry on with the results update; but got a phone call from hospital to say MRI for adrenal is on Friday 13 November. So felt a bit deflated as I'd sort of forgotten about that.

I googled the surgeon who is part of the Breast Unit team who is likely to be doing the reconstruction and found The Sefton Suite is the private medical part of the same looked into other surgeons and contacted one who does facelifts etc. Made an appointment for 14 December. Mr Carl Jones.

So in a way something good came out of something that could have been so much worse.......I'm not at death's door and I might get my facial surgery right on my doorstep.

I know the face stuff can't be done for a while but I can at least go talk about it and find out when it can be done.

The reconstruction surgeon is Lee Martin of Aintree University Hospital.... Google him........he seems to be a top notch surgeon.

BTW as I am in the UK all medical treatments are free, including breast reconstruction. It is government policy for suspected cancer cases to be given a referral by GP within 2 weeks. The NHS (National Health Service) do a wonderful service and I'm so grateful to those who work in it.)

Then did a thorough clean up of the living room and put the Christmas Tree and decs up as I won't be able to after the op. Provisional date for surgery is 16 December.

7th My guy had bought tickets for the races at Aintree today so even though I wanted a lazy day I went along. Really enjoyed it. Visited his mum, then back home to enjoy some music on YouTube.........indulging him in his 'hanging on to his youth' selection.......Sex Pistols, Madness, Jam et al, and listened to his oft repeated anecdotes of his days with his mates. Glad when he's exhausted himself with his youth stories........and went to bed. A 6foot 4inch middle aged man thinking he's still 16 and coming out with the type of irritating (to me) but highly amusing/ worth knowing (to him) teenage boy crap is sooooooooo wearying????

He's now asleep and I'm chilling in the living room in the glow of the tree lights, doing this update and feeling quite good. I don't feel at all I'll and I have a deeper appreciation for life and must admit am surprised at my own strength and ability to handle what has been happening. I haven't crumbled and given up.

It seems mother nature gives us the tools we need and it's up to us to utilise them.

I have my preop tests this Monday 9 Nov am then dentist at 4pm for hopefully final impression. Hoping I get final fitting before breast op, but that's probably unlikely. So it may be weeks before my teeth are done.

It is great to be able to keep a record of it all here, and the wonderful ladies are so supportive and kind to each other.......I feel blessed.


Thinking about maybe I should have a double mastectomy even though the cancer is in one breast only.

Two reasons.....1 .the reconstruction is more likely to produce even sized, shape and weight; rather than trying to match to my 'good' one. Also this is the one that ended up a bit squarish after breast reduction I had years ago.

2. It would be prophylactic.... who knows if further down the line I'd get cancer in that one too.

To be honest I feel I haven't had an opportunity to really discuss ALL the options available to me. Like the scar position. Some can have it under the breast in the fold and there is the diagonal one towards the armpit. Both a preferable to the ugly horizontal slash right across the middle of the breast I think.

I feel a bit rushed, seeing as the op is next week.

Feeling a bit timid about getting a chance to discuss it with Mr Lafi.....also his first language isn' t English and I wonder if he'll understand me completely.

I get my preop tests in the morning and hope I get the courage to mention this to my nurse so she can somehow arrange for me to have an unhurried chat with the surgeon........not just a few minutes on the actual surgery day.

I also wonder if being an NHS patient gives one less choice?

Also a year seems a long time to wait for reconstruction when many get it right away.

The nurse mentioned implants going hard during there seems no option for using my own tissue (as in the flaps I've read about here).

Read that expanders can be put in right away, and these aren't affected by radiotherapy.

It was me who mentioned reconstruction, according to the NHS info "you will be given the opportunity to discuss reconstruction"...... I wonder if I hadn't mentioned it, would Mr Lafi not have brought it up?

I need to have a good talk to the nurse tomorrow if she is there, or go to the MacMillan office in the hospital. {MacMillan nurses in the UK specialize in working with cancer patients).

Meanwhile, it looks like a Google night for me to get informed so I go prepared.

Would welcome any comments, advice.

MASTECTOMY ANSWERS......AND IT'S NO, NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


9TH Had very thorough pre-op tests, blood, heart,movement etc.

Did ask Tracey the questions.......and it's no to all. I will be having the mastectomy to right breast and removal of lymph nodes. I think that's a radical mastectomy.... and major affect is problems with the arm. Being right handed that's gonna be a bummer.

9th afternoon went to dentist. No chance for final this week, would be ready on of surgery. Booked for 23rd Nov as I might be able to do it then.

We have decided on two crowns on front teeth.....he tried the wax up....and I was like "I look like NANNY MCPHEE....???? then relaxed as he told me it was a wax and the final would be fine.

Then I overdid it by doing a lot of shopping and walking home 3 or so miles.

Bit upset later that evening over not being able to have even one of my mastectomy wishes. But console myself with the thought that even some horrendous butched jobs have been made reasonably surgeons who really care about producing results the women can live with.

10th absolutely tired all day. Nurse came to dress my wound.
Just lollopped about the rest of the day. In the evening prepared my 'recovery room' then bed early.



MRI SCAN and Sorting out bras


13TH Alarm woke me at 9am, went back to sleep and woke again 20 minutes later. Next thing I knew it was 11.25........panic dashed to get dressed. Appointment for scan was 12.30 and it takes about 20 minutes by bus to get to hospital.

Thank goodness for my hat and sunglasses habit! Was dressed and out the door by 11.35 just in time to get the 11.42 bus just over the road from my home.

Bus drivers were having an idle gossip during their change over.....which had me tapping my fingérs.

Arrived in scan area at 12.10 and was seen very quickly.

Being claustrophobic at the best of times it was a horrid 15 minutes in the MRI unit. A number of times I felt the urge to press the panic button.....but I managed to complete it......after asking the radiologist if many people couldn't go through with it she said "quite a few.....but we do have a larger scan for people who get claustrophobic. Now she tells me!!!!!

Had quick look at the ward I will be on on Monday so I would be able to find it. The mastectomy operation admission time is 7.30am. I might have to stay awake all night to be sure of not sleeping in.

With the mad morning dash and scan experience I couldn't wait to get home.
The weather was foul.....cold, windy and hail stones.

On edge and out of sorts for rest of day. All jittery and unsettled.

Forgot to include the bras sort out!!!!!

On Thursday a new sports bra arrived from eBay. It as moderate removable padding. So I took padding out of the left side and added it to the right.

Not enough took out all the bras I'd bought yonks ago, when I'd had a huge shopping spree after my reduction. Never did wear any of them.....just adored my sports bras. No bones, wires, fastenings.....just stretch them on and go.

So needed a sort out. Sporties that have pockets in for padding.....and any underwriter ones I cut the lightly padded cups out.

So I've made one half padded sports bra....tried to upload pic but it's not appeared.....will try again sometime.

Felt nostalgically sad, with a little lump in my throat as I sat padding the new bra. But it helps I think to being doing all the practical preparations.

I will be getting a prosthetic boob fitted free at the hospital after recovery. Not sure if that would be comfortable...... perhaps just padding will be gentler on the skin.

It's going to be the weirdest thing......having one boob.I think what bothers me more is not having a nipple on that side........I might put one on in felt tips when scar has fully healed????

The nurse mentioned the DIEP (DEIP?) FLAP reconstruction....... using some tissue from my belly to create a natural breast. That would get me a flatter stomach too.

So things to feel positive about.......things I need to be patient in waiting for.

Also read about tumeric and it's clinical trials that show it can aid in cancer treatments Made myself a tea of green tea, tumeric, black pepper and honey.......vile as fk! So ordered the capsules from a reputable heath store.

It's great to be able to write here as a sort of diary as I go through this experience.... and the response from all the lovely ladies is amazing and so soothing......I feel embraced in huge hugs from many arms. Group hug everybody????

Feeling quite calm at the moment.


This is the bra I padded.


Mainly preparing for tomorrow.... stuff for hospital packed. Then cooked roast dinner.

Listened to music, fresh clean bedding put on....all the bits and bobs to make return home pleasant and comfy.

Just relaxing......or trying to. Swing between feeling nervy then impato to have it done with.

Caught my guy looking at my right breast.........and asked him why. He had a brief tear in his eye.....leant over and kissed it. Before he could say anything I told him to not say anything hurtful.

About 15mins later he managed to use the words "onetit" and "false tit".

I'm not going to reiterate it all it's too raw at the moment.

Suffice to say I ended up upset........but no tears.......can't afford tears now. But it brought back all the shit comments I've had about my breasts all my life. To be honest I had been having these memories every morning when I wake.

Perhaps at some stage I shall write it all down........after I'm recovered and finally have reconstruction and feel stronger.

Even though I did say to him he's being and has been hurtful in the past over breast comments........he seems oblivious to the impact of his tactless and cruel comments.

In many similar instances, whenever I've mentioned past hurts or downright abuse by men.......starting with my father;through to teachers and blessed....I'm always told to understand THEM.

Seems I'm not supposed to be entitled to any understanding or even a modicum of acknowledgmentment that I am/was justified in being upset/angry/hurt.

Can't even describe what I'm feeling now. Just thinking 'men are c#nts'........sorry for those who are offended by swearing.....but fkn swearing is sometimes the only way to get the hurt out and become justifiably angry......then regain my 'self' again and dismiss those men as of no importance.

I have no strong attachment to this guy, who I've known for 6 years........he wants to be with me far more than I can be bothered with him. We have had periods where I've refused to see him.......8 months at one time.....over things he's said.

So it looks like another break is imminent....... and it would suit me fine! I'd be better of on my own without having to consider his issues...........seeing as he doesn't know how to be considerate towards mine. He doesn't want to know the details, and doesn't want to see anything yeuky. Well it ain't gonna be easy hiding blood filled he's better off too doing back to his own place and I can get on with my recovery without his annoying presence.

Why do some people make our issues all about them?

All done in morning just got my phone at 6pm

Quick battery low. Am OK.


Had surgery before lunchtime.....about 11 I think.

About 5 ladies in waiting room. I got there very early
Due to lack of beds there was a bit of a fiasco over doing last pressures. bloods etc. Had mine done I'm staff cloakroom amongst the coats. Weekend revellers getting themselves into drunken issues tend to fill NHS hospital beds at weekends.

So I wasn't able to get prepared early. All of a sudden nurse came with gown and stockings and said theatre were asking for me and I would have to get changed in bathroom.

So the government cuts to services ate really starting to show now. Never had this experience before.

Mr Lafi came to mark me up.....HAHA one arrow. Taken to processing bay my wheelchair.

So surprised at all the fantastic attention- 3 for anesthetic. nurse and
Mr Lafi.....I ended up giving him a hug.
All relaxed and telling jokes....not at all stiff and formal. And the anesthetist put the canulla in like a dream.......andvit still doesn't hurt hours later.
Woke around 12.30 to 1pm. No pain but felt claustrophobic with oxyygen mask on.

Pleasantly surprised to find myself being wheeled to The Sefton Suite which is the Private Paying section. So I have a hotel style room.

My phone and stuff was delayed in being reunited with mecas it had been put in a staff locker in the haste of the morning.

The tea and toast I relished.......I'd been so thirsty and hungry. Having last eaten about 6pm on Sunday.

Mr Lafi checked up on me, also another surgeon who I asked about muscle status and she told me she had been taken a plane of it
So 2 surgeons?

Up and about and clear headed, going to toilet with help over drains.

Only discomfort is from drains.

Mr Lafi said that due to my past breast reduction there is slight risk of necrosis and they will have to fix that if it happens.
Think that means taking tissue from my belly.

Haven't looked at 'it' yet. though got a fleeting glimpse a minute ago as I pulled gown further up to cover my chest. Have sort of lightly hovered my hand over area on top of gown.

Don't know when I'll look at it. I'm like dentist I rarely look in mirror......wait til I get home and look in my tiny handbag mirror.

My guy came up after 6, I asked him to empty my case etc and put my necessary things like phone and charger near to hand. Took up all the visiting time as he had to be told where to putbeach item.
The atmosphere was cordial

Had sandwich and soup......then fixed n and off for an ehour or so.
Watched some TV.
Now it's nearly 4 am and I'm wide awake.......I'm zoomy person so having to go slow and take it easy is not isomething I'm accustomed to........nor have the patience for.

Put some make up on. Ha ha pride/vanity will out.



Return home went smoothly.

Had one drain removed but other has to stay in til about Friday. Got my white leggings on and an oversized white shirt. Pit drain in white carrier bag and it's pinned on inside of I can move about easier.

My guy made lunch!

Of course I'm wanting to do SOMETHING...... not used to having nothing to do. I usually have one active project or another.

'IT' don't know what to call my none-boob area so 'it' will do for now. When I was dressing I made sure I didn't look there, and that there were no reflective surfaces where I'd accidentally notice it.

It felt a little like when I had boobs reduced.....Lighter.

I can't put my padding on yet so the shirt is moderately hiding the gap.

My district nurse, specialist breast nurse will visit me at home tomorrow. She will probably be able to advise me over the process.When the drain is out and I can wear my half padded sports top I'll probably feel better.

I feel well and am relaxing on my super SOFA that converts to a large bed. Will try to upload pics.
I can't repeat often enough how much I appreciate all your kind words and support.

Love to you all. XXX



Woke at 7am. Bit of a twingy pain high on chest, think it may be where breast drain was......had the tiniest peek......just a fraction....a white dressing. Seeing as MrLafi said words like 'dusky' and mentioned seeing if it takes, skin from previous reduction was thinner.........and bruising.... I think I'll not look yet.

Got up to make a tea and go to toilet.

Light bulb had gone on table lamp so changed that with left hand.

My hair had gone into one big knot in hospital so had put it in a plait. As I can't move my right arm high it's gonna be a pig to try to get it brushed out. My advice to ladies with long hair going for a procedure is to get it plaited BEFORE.

Took out more sports bras that can be padded. Got 3 ready for when nurse comes. I keep puffing the shirt out at the moment. Having previously been a rather large girl in the breast department.... and still having a fair amount after reduction...the difference is more obvious than if I'd had tiny boobs to start with.

I'm sort of scared of looking v get it over with you drama queen. Like waiting with anticipation for my looking at IT update like it's some next episode teaser on some soap opera. Tune in for the next episode of Polwin, will she, won't she,will it be omg the stuff of nightmares.....or will it be "no big deal".

I suppose women who loved their breasts and identified with them strongly as a symbol of feminity/womanhood may feel the loss more acutely. Don't know....going on a philosophical trip as is my wont. I always found my boobs pesky in the way encumbrances.

I spoke to it, saying " sorry I hated you". Am I mad?

I have a mild sore throat from breathing tube and bit of a cough. As I cough I put my hand over the area to hold my boob......then feel so weirdly freaked cos it's not there.

Still wondering if I should have asked Mr Lafi if he'd make the left one smaller, when he asked me just before surgery if I had any questions. When female doctor spoke about having to do something if this skin doesn't take I piped up....."you can take it from the other one". She shook her head and said it would have to be better quality, seeing as it would be getting radiotherapy.

So I'm left guessing. To my mind if I'm going to have to get it redone then I may as well have the reconstruction to a boob shape right away....using belly tissue. (Though having necrosis to warrant that isn't a jolly thought).

If it needs to be done they'll probably only take what is needed to make a good healthy covering......only to blooming well zap it with rads.

If I go into morbid mode......I'm imagining the skin so thin I'll be able to see my ribcage.

I will get my physiotherapy instructions in the mail.....for my arm exercises.

What I'm looking forward to is getting my bra on, getting support socks off and most importantly getting this drain out.

All in all considering what's happened I'm not even upset, just feel strange on that side.


So I stop thinking about it I'll write it here.

Just wondering if my boob is now is some jar in a lab? Keep thinking about the nipple more than the actual boob. Just curious.




Had checks by nurse. No problems. Can't put bra on yet, but can try tomorrow.

Only 20mls in drain. If less than 50mls over 2 days then it can come out, so hopeful for it to be out before Monday (dentist day for final fitting).

Asked about's high up where wound was. Glad about that, I just hated idea of it right across the middle.

I expect that the old scars from the reduction will be there but they were so fine, hardly noticeable at all. I think I'm fortunate in good scar healing.

So feeling reasurred I can fully relax.

My guy Dougie is preparing dinner. Asking things like "how do I cut celery?".

I can managed to do some things, but can't cut anything with right hand or open packets yet. Get twingy pain in incision area so am mindful and not doing anything risky. Read a few stories here where ladies have overcome it at first and ended up ill.

So my first full day home is quite pleasant and I feel quite happy. I know there will be some challenging times ahead with therapy and my follow up in about ten days.........but for now living in the moment is quite good.

Gonna have a nap, with a smile on my face. Dougie made me laugh.....he put on a nurses uniform, put a pen and his wrist watch in the pocket. His main redeeming trait is he can be very funny.


Dougie being a pretend nurse. When the real nurse arrived he opened the door like this!!! And said "thought you weren't coming so I took over".

Had such a laugh.


Didn't sleep so well last night. Woke up about three times.

Had sharp shooting pain on incision top of chest. Bit scared in case stitches are disturbed..........ache all over right shoulder and inner part of upper right arm.

Drain place highly twinges.

It's all the healing army doing their manoeuvres!

Took 2 co-codamol 8/500 and it's eased but not gone completely. The hospital had been giving me the stronger dose 30/500......they did offer me a take home prescription...... but I said I'd take the ones I already had at home.

See how I go today. If the pain gets worse I'll get a prescription from my GP.

I can't do the arm exercises until the drain is out, consequently all my upper right side to the neck is stiffening up and achey.

Haven't had bowel movement yet.....but am not in discomfort. Checked with nurse yesterday over using some chilli sauce to get me going and she said OK.

Woke 7am and made tea and toast. My new comfort food ha-ha.


Around 10.30 went into my home office and was able to sit comfortably for 20 minutes doing some light catch up work on computer. I do illustrations for mental health writers. Didn't do any taxing work.......just email checking and photo filing. Felt a bit normal!!!!!

Nurse arrived at 11.00 and she had a surprising gentle touch considering her robust build......was expecting some ouch moments.....,but had none.

Drain was 100mls today........sooooooooo will be some days before removal.

Compression socks for night time only now.

Mentioned pain and worry over stitches........she checked and all is fine. Advice to contact GP if I get continual pain but the periodic sharp stabs are normal.

So again reasurred ai can enjoy the rest of the day.

Having a lazy afternoon.....with a nap probably......then think about what would be nice for dinner. Just as I wrote that Dougie came in and asked what I wanted for dinner. I'll have large black tiger prawns and salad with one slice of bread and unsalted butter. That's me sorted. He's having lamb in mint gravy with mashed potato and veg.



Woke early......6.30am, refreshed.

Cup of tea.

Seeing as I wanted to change the cotton t-top I wear under the shirt I decided to just go ahead and do it. Bit awkward getting it off as my arm has limited movement.

I looked in my hand mirror and firstly noticed that the incision goes to my side. There is a pouch of boob? or fat? or swelling? there. A small incision in armpit high up. And another pouch of boob? in cleavage area. And the drain.

I looked down from my chest and thought 'oh it looks quite rounded not flat.....then realized it was my belly! Fool ha-ha.

So I'm looking but not really seeing if you know what I mean.

The full frontal in a wall mirror is unlikely yet.....if ever. Never liked looking at my breasts that way anyway.

So not's not a nightmare.
There is some purply bruising by incision and the bottom area is clear.

Tried to put my sports bra on but just couldn't get leverage on my arm, so got another less expensive one and cut up the middle front and sewn on two ribbon ties.
Put two pads in. Useless! Padded more with cotton wool. Still useless. Looks like the way a bra looks on a man....all high up in the wrong place. So back to the drawing board on that.

Took the padding out and left the bra on. Made me feel more secure as it gently supports the drain area.

Have ordered some zip front bras from eBay so may have better luck with them. I will be getting a free bra and prosthesis but not for a couple of weeks, so I'd rather have a go at creating one I can use while I'm waiting. As the incision is so high up any padding will not be resting on it.

So I'm in my usual problem-solving mode. I used to be a theatrical costume maker so needle and thread are very familiar.



The nurse who came today was one of the first ones from 3 weeks ago who dressed the ulcerating wound.

Drain emptied 200ml. And redressed drain area.....bit ouch!

Seeing as it may be unlikely drain will be out by Monday, I phoned to change appointment day with Dentist. Now it's 1 December, on a Tuesday. Mr Lafi's clinic is on Tuesdays so it may get changed AGAIN,as I have a feeling my follow up will be on that date......waiting for appointment letter.

To those who may be interested, and for my record......bowels were opened today good style haha.

Made some homemade fish soup and put lots of portion pots in freezer

Had some for lunch with bread. It was lovely.

No pain today, no pain killers. The odd drain twinge if I move awkwardly doesn't warrant pills.

Hope you are all feeling fine.......soon be Christmas woooohooooo!


SECOND ATTEMPT AT 'SOCIAL DRESSING' ie homemade temporary boob!


Have to do pics and text separate, otherwise I lose them.

Needed change of attire as my comfort shirt needs a wash. Also upper inner arm was sore where stitched area came against skin on side. So cut half leg of some new leggings and made an arm sleeve to go over sore area.....immediate relief.

Then raided my lingerie drawer and found a sort of basque that has a lightweight body part. Took out the underwires. Got it on......but forgot about drain....couldn't get it threaded through so took it off. Much cursing and touching!!!!!

Then cut the body part so it would be easier to get on, put the drain tube agaisnt my side and got it on finally. Then padded out the right cup. Not a perfect job, but it gives me something there and I can now wear just a T-shirt and not have to keep checking that the shirt is ulled out to hide the gap.

I call it my 'social dressing'. Laying on my side typing this, I can see the boob outline and it feels better than that strange flatness.

Also I'm mindful of Dougie's feelings......not having to see the flat place all day.

My exercise instructions came so will do a few of them before bed. Have my physio 10.30 on Monday 30 November. So this week I have no appointments...... How freeeeeeeeeeee I feel. Imagine when this drain is'll be BLISS.


Had same nurse as yesterday. She is chatty and tells me I'm doing well.
DRAIN 65MLS so getting less.

Took off the Basque thing as it was a bit tight under the armpit.....managed to use one of my sports bras.....comfortable.

Googled mastectomy bras and like ARE YOU KIDDING!!!!! THE PRICES!!!!! £24 and upwards
Then found George at ASDA do a selection from £4 to £8 so ordered some. And some cheaper sports bras that have padding pockets from eBay. (coming from China so will be ages before they arrive....but at just over £2 I don't mind waiting)

I'm about 20lbs heavier than my comfort weight so hope I can lose that, which will make me feel comfortable.

My main bother is the soreness under armpit.......arm feels heavy and weird zinging sensation on the back of it. Put compression sleeve on which helps a bit.

Did my exercises in the morning and afternoon and will do them just before bedtime. Only doing the basic 1 week ones, then next week I start the next level..

Just take painkillers for this at bedtime.

Have booked a Christmas holiday. We are going to Rossette Hall in Chester GB, been there before and it's a lovely place. 23-26 December. Will be lovely to walk around Chester with all the festive lights on.

Don't know when the radiotherapy will start or for how long. Won't know until 1 Dec when I see Mr Lafi. It may be after New Year seeing as I have to be fully recovered from the surgery before it can be done.

Meanwhile my next project is choosing which clothes to take to Rossette.




Disppointed today because drain was 85mls gone up since yesterday.

Reducing the arm exercises, and reduced my activity.....even though it was'nt a lot anyway..........apparently the more active you are the more fluid is created.

Drat, drat, drat!!!!!!! Apart from the arm soreness I feel fit as a fiddle so lounging around is more like a chore. Even sewing is a repetitve action that has to be avoided.

I'm having to accept the fact that the drain may still be in when I go to my follow up on 1 Dec.

Also I'll have to contact the physio over exercise session due on 30 Nov. to see if would be pointless going if I have the drain in.

Going to try to get this knot out of my hair using my left hand.............with loadsa swearing no doubt.


24 November 2015

Well what a day!

Nurse came earlier than usual at 10.30.

Told here I had only 1 drain bag left. She phoned the breast link nurse Diane......upshot was someone would have to go to the breast clinic to pick some up....Also spoke to Tracey, my clinic nurse and explained about the arm soreness, exercises and my activity limitations. Result:

Carry on doing exercises
Stay active....just no heavy lifting or overdoing it
The breast nurse will visit me on Thursday

Got the ok to go outdoors if I want and I could collect the drain bags whenever I wanted.

I was like a kid going to Disneyworld! Got dressed....quite a knack putting socks on with left hand. Great to be in clothes again.

Put the drain paraphanalia in a lunch bag that has long strap. Then put my black mac over the ensemble.

Dougie offered to take me but I felt completely able to go myself. The bus is right outside my home and goes right into the hospital grounds. It's only about 4 or 5 stops away.

Felt great outdoors.

At the clinic there was one receptionist drinking tea in the mammo waiting room. Told here I had come to collect the bags, and was there a note left regarding this.
She said there were no nurses there but I could wait. Sat for about a nanno second then asked if they were at lunch. She said yes. So I went for a coffee, changed my mind and had a short walk in the grounds.

Back to the clinic......another woman asked if I was there for the afternoon clinic. I explained about the bags again.

It was by then 1 pm ish......been there since 12.20.

She said nurses wouldn't be back until 2pm.

So went to get a coffee. Sat in the entrance coffee lounge so I could see the nurses returning from lunch.

Took some photos.....half selfies haha because trying to get all my face in was a bit OBVIOUS. Probably looked a bit mad. Phoned Dougie to let him know I was ok so he wouldn't worry.

Went back to clinic.....this time there were many staff people millimg about....oh goog I thought....some action.

Went to the secondvwoman from earlier......she was at the reception desk. Repeated the bags story again. She looked at me blankly......and said there would be no nurses at the clinic that afternoon. Aaaaaarrrrgh!

"What shall I do;should I go to the surgical ward and ask them for some" I asked her.

More blankety bank from her.

So I said it again. She got all confused.....and I was rolling my eyes behind my sunglasses........then she glanced to the side of the computer, picked up a clear bag and said "what's this?" and the same time my arm stretched towards it, seeing my name on it and said "that's has my name on it".

She handed it over saying " oh I didn't know". Just imagine if I'd just waited in the waiting room as the first one had told me..........crikey I'd have been there all day until they came to shut the doors.

And in my very shy past I'd have sat there, not saying anything. Have wasted many hours getting lost in places;too shy to ask for directions. Waiting hours for various people who never turned up.......and suffered many red-faced agonies when I had to be home for deliverymen or service/repairs men who came into my home.
(I'd let them in to do the job.....while I literally hid in another room....then see them face puce and my voice twenty octaves higher in a pretense at confidence.

Reckon I'm not too shy now. And a lot of that is due to Dougie's affect on me over 6 years. He's so open and demonstrative that I find I'm that way too.

This morning the drain read 110mls........and tonight the reservoire bulb seems to have less in it. (That part gets measured tomorrow).

Under arm still sore.....I think that's where the end of the drain tube is....and would account for me not being able to stretch my arm fully.

Nurse did say the tube goes a long way in to the armpit.Another nurse said "do you know what you have to do when it's being taken out?" Sure, I said....."take a deep breath and swear like hell"....she laughed.


I will be uploading some photos soon of the mastectomy area. (Surprised at myself!!!! that I'd be able to even take such photos; much less look at them.)

So I think it only right to give prior warning; in case some people find them upsetting or gruesome. I will be putting a Warning notice before them so that anyone viewing in the top band of photos has the opportunity to exit.

Those who are curious, interested, fascinated and less squeamish I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, or comments. Don't hold back.

My main issue isn't with the gone's the damned HUGE one next to it which is gonna be a bugger to get a matching prosthesis. It will weigh a ton!



Nurse Maureen arrived 9.50, have seen here before.

Did a thorough job.....took off the steri strips...I have no stitches and it's healed well. We looked at the one under arm that's been causing me hassle. There was NOTHING there. The steri strip had come away from the end of the incision and stuck under my arm.

DRAIN 80mls today, gone down.

Dougie cooking bacon stew. Increased his menu repertoire enormously....the other 2 are liver and onions and the one dish most men make ad infinitum..... spag bol. ;)

So aloe vera-ing my 'sore' arm......all is well in my World today. Hope it is too for you all.

PHOTOS STERISTRIPS REMOVED.......ARM ISSUE Is drain causing swelling I think


Day 10 post op
Breast Link Nurse arrived......Diane who happens to be the nurse who took my blood pressure in the staff cloakroom on day of surgery. She remembered me and we laughed over having to get gowned in the toilet.

All dressings off. The two blackish areas (photo to follow).....she can't tell if it's dried blood or necrotic tissue yet. Told her the black area came off in the centre and new skin is there. So wait and see on that.

Arm hypersensitivity is normal and will go in time.

Didn't have my social dressing on all day as the weight of padding and hard edges made my underarm sore.
She asked me if I'd been given a bra and softie at the hospital? I told her no.....that I was a bit freaked as I'd expected to wake post op with it on.

She asked my size and will be bringing them on Saturday.....yipeeeeeeeeee!

She had a medium one in her bag and showed me it.

Also the pouch at side can be's called a dog ear. It's not a seroma (fluid filled).
A good reasurring visit.....happy.
LATER THAT DAY,,..........Looked online for softies (lightweight pollyfill booby thingy). Are you KIDDING? THE PRICES?

Sooooooooo nano think time,,.........LIGHTBULB out all the sports bras that don't have pockets for padding and a cushion from my office couch.

Needle and thread time. Cut the two boob areas off bra....sewn them together with small opening and stuffed it with cushion pollyfill fibre. Trying it for size....more filling......more filling....more filling lol.

Then stitched opening. PERFECT! So made another one post haste. (Little business opportunity moment thoughts, as I tend to do....."I could make and sell these"......ha-ha)

The difference......light and no hard areas at all. So comfortable.

Put Dettol Antiseptic Cream on my sore arm...soothing.
27 NOV 2015
DAY 11 post op

Woken by the doorbell. Mad scramble out of bed.

Nurse Maureen again (the one who brings a small suitcase like she's gonna bandage everyone in the street ha-ha)

Quick this time as no issues over dressing checks and drain site still OK.

What I had noticed is my inner arm was far less sore....Dettol might have worked.

Maureen asked me if I was going out today.......concerned I may get bashed about in Black Friday stampede. Erm no probs I said I'm only going to the Vale (local shops 2 mins away) for biscuits for the cats......don't think Home & Bargains will have any BF issues....we laughed.

DRAIN 100MLS again....hey hum.

Put on my new fashioned booby and bra. GREAT GREAT GREAT.

Can now shower.....more GREAT! Which I will do right now.

NB photos to follow later.


Using proper computer so these may upload better. Having problems uploading pics and text using tablet or phone.

BTW the would area isn't at all painful. Looks worse on the photo.


No this isn't as small boob. It is my side/back. Will be getting it removed by lipo and surgery I hope, or can the fat just be poked to the front lol lol


1. Get left breast reduced to a B cup
2. Get fat pouch on right side/back underarm removed
3. Lose weight....about 20lbs
4. Get facelift
5. Get nose job
6. Get eyelids done
The hold up will be the blooming radiotherapy...... May have to have this on right breast area.....but I don't see why I can't have the left reduced in the meantime.

If it's an NHS issue (free national health) over costs and not a medical reason to delay it.....then I'll just pay for it privately.

What I dread is having to go through radiotherapy and chemo with this huge boob, fat pads at boob sides; which will make wearing bras with padding so cumbersome and painful on back and shoulders. Before op I could go braless and not suffer bra pain.

Now I'm back to that despairing feeling I had before the breast reduction years ago. Not over the's the bra hassle I hate. If I had the left boob reduced I could get away with much smaller bras and less padding.

It seems the boob is a DD now and the other a zero.

Fretting about how I can discuss this with Mr Lafi......get the feeling it'll be a blooming NO again. He had said reconstruction would be in a year!!!!!!!!

Feeling myself start to be upset and the depression I suffered years ago over huge breasts is looming.

I actually prefer my no-breast more than the big one; such is the lifetime of discomfort pre reduction that I suffered terribly.

I think I need to speak to my GP as she may be able to throw some weight behind my request and maybe refer me directly to a plastic surgeon. I do need to talk this out with someone..........the breast clinic seem to have a production line system where any 'cosmetic' stuff is not considered important. Yet it's not cosmetic for's the difference between going through some downright horrible therapies with lightweight breasts v being doubly miserable with therapy and a heavy breast burden. Radiotherapy will make my skin on right side too sore to wear a I WILL BE DEPRESSED if I have to spend nearly a year going round with such a lopsided body. No way to disguise it.

One thing about the removed'll never grow huge again. And any reconstruction will be to as small as I want. Surely the other one can be made small too.... NOW........rather than in a year.

Bit of a rant I know but I'm really upset about it. I'm not crying over the mastectomy or even the looming cancer's the having to wear bras that dig in my shoulders, pinch at my sides and just generally feel so heavy.
I manage to wear my modified bras for a few hours.....but then start to get backache and shoulder ache and have to take it off.

Really getting pissed off with this drain's all making me so irritated, trapped and damned sore!


New nurse Helen came, wasn't expecting her as breast nurse Diane would be here today.

Helen decided to leave things as they are and was making her notes when Diane turned up. Brief discussion over necrotic areas on incision and Helen left.

Diane had brought the promised bra and softie. Too big..... I had asked for XL size and once it was on it felt huge. Diane said the large would fit me better and I could pick it up on Monday when I go for physio.

Put a dressing on the black dead tissue.

Started talking about how I'd had a bad night not sleeping properly over upset about big boob issue. Ended up crying and she fully understood, but said it would be unlikely anything would be done until after treatments. And it's usual to wait for the one year all clear before a reconstruction.

Although she said the reconstruction WILL happen I still felt until I heard it from the surgeon's mouth I won't believe it.

Just felt very sad and tearful most of the day. I know it's normal to get some post op blues so hopefully things will get better soon....probably when the drain is out and I can move my arm normally.

Doing my arm exercises 3 times a day. Managed to have two lots of long naps today to catch up on sleep.

DRAIN 100MLS..........


Well I thought my pics might be a bit graphic for some.......but yesterday I seen some mastectomy photos of a RealSelfer that has pics of the actual operation.....and they are very graphic!

Just put warning here as some people might be upset over my mastectomy images....although I'm surprisingly not too freaked by them.

The scar goes in a curve over the breast and shaped towards my back like a strapless dress or bra top. Even though the scar is high on the front.....due to where the cancer ulcer had come through skin.....I find it preferable to a straight line.

Any questions you have, I'll be glad to answer.


29 NOVEMBER 2015

New nurse Rose today, changed drain bag and redressed healing area on scar.
Pleasant pretty girl.


Diane had brought bra and softie in size I'd asked for EXTRA LARGE lol as I didn't want anything tight.
But it was a bit too big; so I will pick up a large size on Monday.


30 NOVEMBER 2015 (My mum's birthday RIP)

Was sooooooooo tired this morning....didn't want to get out of warm bed to face the cold windy rainy weather,.....but had to.

Just missed my bus by a minute so had to walk to bus stop further away....bought another umbrella on the way as forgotten to take one with me.

Ten minutes late for physio Julie; but she was fine about it. Answered questionnaire about health history etc. Tried a few movements but couldn't do much because of drain. Next appointment is on 4 Jan. She recommended I took painkillers before coming to clinic as the manipulation of my arm may be painful. Yikes!!!!!


Seen nurse Tracey who went off to get the smaller bra left by Diane for me and more drain bags.

Meanwhile nurse Michelle took me to room to commence redressing the necrotic skin area.......going to use honey dressing. Tracey came in as I was asking "do you mean the honey I have at home, do I use that?".... they roared laughing!

No it's a special medical dressing infused with hone that has proven to work well on wounds. So the true medicine is being recognized by the health industry? Somehow feels good using Mother Nature's remedy.

Helped an elderly lady on my way out who was distressed over finding her bus stop.....walked with her and stayed until she got on the bus.

Then walked for about 10 minutes to get my own bus. Stopped off at Vale to do a bit of light shopping. Got Dougie a lovely silver waistcoat for Christmas And a nice fur trimmed cape with hood, black wedge ankle boots and some thick grey/black dogtooth pattern outdoor leggings for myself......for Christmas holiday in Rossette.

My online orders had arrived when I got back home, red shoes and more bras.

Tiring day, so now relaxing watching TV.

Tomorrow I have dentist at 9am and my post op follow up with Mr Lafi at the breast clinic.

Will need plenty of zzzzzzzzzzzzzz's tonight.


DRAIN WAS 20MLS when I left for clinic this morning....if it had been measured at usual time between 11.00-11.30 am it would have been about 30mls! But it wasn't measured until around 3pm and total was 55mls.

Funny that the time it was 65mls it was a very active day too. So it seems not doing much creates a higher reading.

Perhaps I should go for a midnight jog around the block so tomorrow's reading will be low lol.....joke!

So if tomorrow it's less than 50mls it bodes well for me having the drafted drain taken out by Wednesday.

Itsy been hurting a lot the last few days.....having to take painkillers. Earlier this evening I leant over to answer house phone and it was tugged......fkn OUCH! ! !

Having a no social dressing tonight in bed....the bra presses right on drain entry site. So back in my huge white shirt for much comfort as I can muster with this drain.

Will take painkillers before seeing Mr Lafi just in case he decides it can come out tomorrow.



9am Dentist.....fitting of temporary crowns. So glad to have the gap closed on front teeth. I go for final and work on left side to match over coming months.

The new front teeth are bigger to close gap; which makes the others look small in comparison...... So will have either veneers or crowns on them.
Then back home........numb mouth and lisping.

3.35 Post op follow up.
Gave Me Lafi a hug.....he was all coy and "aw shucks".....look in his eyes said " her she is, that EXUBERANT hat-wearing lunatic".

How are you?
Great, fantastic, very happy.
Do you have any pain?
Only with the drain.
Oh we'll have that out today, and the adrenal results are clear, just a tiny benign spot.

HUGE, HUGE, HUGE RELIEF!!!!!!!!! Big smile with my new temp teeth.

-Gowned and on examination couch.- he checked the scar and said it was good and that the necrotic bits would soon clear up. He redressed it. The nurse was someone I hadn't met before......then Michelle also came in, with a huge smile, she had wanted to see me today....just because.

Then drain removal time......and I hadn't taken any painkillers...... So was BRACING myself good style.

He cut the stitch that held the drain in place at entry goes I thought, this is gonna be awful (not painful......just like having your innards vacuumed out with a strong Hoover).

Waiting for the forceful pulling I turned to see the end of the drain in his it out? I eyes like saucers. Yes it's out he replied.

Well blow me down......did not feel a thing! Not a twinge or anything.

ECSTATIC...... and praised him to the nurses....making him go all aw shucks again. Ha-ha

When I stood up the nurse said "she's leaking" and Mr Lafi came back to me to put more gauze on. I said "all my gravy is coming're not gonna put it back in are you?" He laughed and said no.

"It's like The Grinch.......I'm leeeeeeeeeking" I said in Jim Carey's voice.

Nurses laughed......Mr Lafi just thought I was a loon as per usual

Back to the his desk he asked me when I wanted to come back for the breast and lymph node results. The results will be in tomorrow and the team will be discussing them to decide the next steps.

I said I prefer Thursday morning as I've been whacked about these last few weeks and had been to dentist so I'll rest up tomorrow and come in on Thursday.

Thanked them all effusively..... saying how wonderful they all are and how very happy I am.

Back home on a high. Had my first alcoholic drink in yonks.....Tia Maria....danced to YouTube vids. And the Sex Pistols was NOT allowed!!!!!!!!

Sinatra, Buble, Humperdinck,Beatles,UB40, and more......even Jim Reeves (my Nanna's favourite.


So I was was the drain that was causing the restriction. Teeny bit tender but that'll soon go with exercise.

Funny I keep forgetting it's gone and move cautiously....had joke with Dougie saying I could still say "oooh my arm hurts; I can't clean the floors" and he said "sod off.....come and shift this wardrobe with me," Lot of laughter, bit tipsy and good fun.

So plenty to smile about and I do feel very happy and Dougie is much relieved too.

So I hope you all have something to smile and be happy about today, or very soon.....and then forever.



2 DECEM ER 2015
DRAIN: What drain? Haha

Nurse visit, new Sophie. Not much today.......just changed top dressing.

Did my arm exercise....started the advanced ones....ouch.

Did some work on computer and very light housework.

Had an afternoon sleep as I felt tired after yesterday's exertions.

6pm ran my bath, lit loads of candles. Was a bit awkward getting in as I don't have strenghth in my arm yet. It was sheer bliss to put my head under the water, and can wash hair if I lean my head to the right.

To's like having an arm 6 inches shorter than the other as it doesn't fully extend due to tendons and muscle tightness. The exercises are to stretch them back to normal.

The bath made all my aches go away, and having clean hair and blow drying it was fantastic.

The skin around drain site so itchy and sore from wearing dressing for two weeks. Dougie put some aloe vera on it for me.

Put makeup on and sponge curlers in my hair......feeling human again.

Had another nap for half hour........that lively type of sleep you get after a bath. All clean and fresh. Felt quite emotional about it.

More exercises....... getting better each time. Then bed, quick update here and sleep. Mr Lafi at 11am in morning.



11am at Breast Unit, Aintree. Mr Lafi (Breast Surgeon) Tracey (my main nurse) Michelle (nurse who had been in theatre during my mastectomy.)

"Oooooh, my fanclub" I said as I entered, gave Mr Lafi his aw shucks cheek kiss.

Got scar area checked and redressed......coming along fine.

Back at the desk for my results and they are as I expected, but a lot of it is not as bad as could be.
I.e. the type of cancer is the sort that responds well to treatment. The surgery removed all cancer and there were only 2 nodes out of 9 affected - which apparently is good.

So firstly I will have chemotherapy for 6 months and highly likely to lose my hair.
Then radiotherapy once that is finished......short course.
Plus hormone treatment for five years.

I was expecting radiotherapy first then chemo. Anyway it is all a precaution to protect me in the future. I may be having the chemo at home.......which would be great as no having to keep numerous appointments.

I am allowed to continue with dental treatment but not to have any cosmetic procedures until therapies are over.

Went to small private lounge to go over it all with Tracey and Michelle. Tracey was more upset than me.....I wasn't upset.....just want to know the practicalities. Michelle said it was amazing how I was taking it all. They said they'd love me to pop in to see them over the next few months and to just call in whenever I wanted.

Chatted about headscarves etc. I said I'd just attach wig hair to the brim of my hats and good to go.

Had a coffee in the foyer then started to make my way home. On the bus thought about getting my eyebrows tattooed......a girl's GOTTA have something beautifying. Best to get it done now rather than once chemo has started as I may be feeling too poorly and will be wearing an infusion device in my arm....awkward.....more tubes!!!!!

My passport had come in the mail and Dougie was all "let's go abroad"....go on.....go on...go on.
With all this Syria stuff going on it wouldn't be we decided to go to Jersey (the Channel Islands) Trying to get booking for around 12 Dec but ended up booking for TOMORROW!

Going for Fri, Sat, Sun, come back Monday.

A rather unjolly time was had sorting clothes to take.......too fat......too fat.....too tight....too short...blah blah, then like Goldilocks I found the one that fit just right. A red dress that Dougie chose when I bought it online last year. Makes me look slimmer, comes to the knee and has a high scooped neckline that doesn't show cleavage....erm half cleavage ha ha. (Dougie likes flash!!!! red lipstick, black stockings etc. He's into the Dolly Parton look (rolleyes!)....I'm more the classic little black dress, or demure off white. Or stretch jeans and nice tops......EVERYDAY.

A swimming costume that fits and covers breast area well.....suitcase packed and ready.

I'm looking forward to it, I've always wanted to go to the Channel Islands. We are flying.....I love flying too. Only about 1 hour flight from Liverpool.

We are still going to Rossette for Christmas. Seeing as from January I'll not be able to go anywhere, it's good to have a ball this month by holidaying and relaxing.....we both need it.

Mr Lafi agree to let me start treatment after Christmas. I will be contacted by the oncologist to have a preliminary interview to plan treatment when I get back.

Have dentist on 9th to plan further dental work.

Now the dilema......I have an appointment with cosmetic surgeon on 14 Dec to discuss my nose, eyes and facelift. Do I go, or delay until next summer? I need to make my mind up as I'll have to cancel the appointment with plenty of notice, out of courtesy. Any thoughts? What would you do?

Can't have any work done of course until treatments are over but I could get a provisional date in Dec 2016.

To be honest.....I'm not happy happy over having to have chemo....who would be?....but it has to be done, so best I prepare and just get on with it. Losing hair seems worse than losing breast.....but I've managed that so hopefully will manage hair loss too. Wigs and hats, hats and wigs. Don't think I'll be doing the scarf thing.....not my style. Of course I'll be posting the array of wigs. I already have loads.....from my theatrical photography work.

Going to google eyebrow tattooing......excited. Will let you know the outcome with pics.



4-7 DECEMBER 2015

Packing for the trip to Jersey had it's was making sure I hadenough social dressing padding. Thought......this mastectomy lark is SO INCONVENIENT!

Flight was delayed by over an hour and that made hanging around the airport for over three hours so uncomfortable....unable to have a lay down to rest my arm.

Arrived 10pm and went straight to bed.

Next day had great breakfast went into St Helier and bought perfume and man scent plus some more clothes gifts for Dougie. Felt he was all about himself again. What he wanted all the time.

Back to hotel had sauna and swimming. My arm eased a lot doing that.

Evening meal in the hotel was fantastic. My steak was a dream.

Bed a reasonable morning I was too tired to go for breakfast and had no energy all day.

Around 4pm we had a walk on the beach and went to Liberation Square. A coffee in the area behind the French market was lovely. Lots of people out with children, Christmas lights and Santa's was magical

Back to the hotel (Hotel de Normandie).......dinner and another early night. Didn't feel at all rested though and to be honest Dougie's incessant chat about his wants and wants grated on my nerves. Packed the suitcase....arm still hurting.

The bulge on my side had swollen up was feeling pretty miserable. Had good think about the upcoming Christmas holiday in Chester.....and decided I didn't want another intense period of Dougiei company 24/7.....our needs are polar opposite....he wants to pub crawl...going to pubs drinking all night...and I want some quieter replenishing pastimes like beach walks, viewing historic places and having a tranquil sit down in one of the pretty squares.

I suppose the big giveaway was the fact that he had pestered me into going on this trip at extreme short notice.......all the arranging, packing and planning fell to me.........he doesn't have the stress.

Arrived back home on 7th around 4.30pm with my arm really sore, too tired to unpack and to find the central heating broken¡!!!!!!!!! It was freezing. Called the boiler repairman who came 3 hours later.

One of the ladies here commented on how we should do things we WANT for OURSELVES and it's so true. Some men are bottomless pits of demands...and never satisfied..always wanting the next thing even before they've taken the wrapper off the current new purchase.

I keep making the same mistake due to my generous nature.......and I must stop it.

I have appointment with oncologist in the morning....bit aprehensive.
Next day is dentist over left side teeth to match new right ones.
Then Thursday eyebrow tattooist.

Soooooooo I shall postpone cosmetic surgeon consultation for a while.

Also will cancel Chester trip.........have been away with Dougie about 6 times and it always ends in me being depleted of energy through being the one to do everything...and I'd rather learn my own pace....what's beneficial to me.

I think getting my teeth completed will be more important than another tiring expense laden trip over the festive period.

And I've learnt the hard way, what all you ladies keep advising.....take it, rest and more rest. Major surgery takes it out of us and it takes longer than we think to fully recover.

So I'm back on my sofabed slowly winding down and hopefully able to get some good sleep to have the energy to listen to the oncologist explain the chemo course I have to undergo.

Depending on how I feel I may go to the support group which is in the same building.....there is free pamper sessions, hair and nails and massage.

ONCOLOGIST........Don't like her one bit! DENTIST.....Referred on!

Well I gave myself a day to see if my views of the oncologist were unfairly based on my tiredness and post holiday ratty mood.

But no.......she came across as a harsh biatch.

Within seconds I felt "she doesn't like me". Then seeing as I invariably get on well with everone else....decided she has the problem..not me.

First off she had that snarly fake smile that doesn't reach the eyes. Lots of sighing and grumbling as if she's forced to deal with NHS patients and would rather deal with the up-their-arse private rich ones.

Many questions re past medical history. Then she mentioned doing an online predictive test to see my chances of dying inthe next 10 years. Fkn hell! I said I'd rather not know.

Then talk of side loss. " I suppose at your age you won't be too concerned about that...I find my younger patients are more concerned with hair loss than the other serious side effects like heart, liver, kidney damage."

You can imagine as the appointment went on I was getting glummer and glummer. She said my cancer was stage 3 which is worse than stage 1. SHE COULD HAVE SAID MY CANCER WAS STAGE 3 WHICH IS B E T T E R THAN STAGE 4. See the difference? I do know the full descrption cos Mr Lafi told me and gave me a print out.....and he emphasised the positives.....but then he is a nice kind likeable person...and she is....well NOT haha.

Then she said chemo to start in 2 weeks!!! ! I mentioned that Mr Lafi said it would be ok to start after Christmas. She just dismissed that.....cow.

She checked my mastectomy scar.....hmmmmed and ermmmerd....back at her desk she said I would have to wait for wound to fully heal. (Ha yippee!)

Gave me provisional date of 6 January.
Talked about the cold cap. (wearing a cold cap during treatment sometimes stops hair loss).......I asked the statistics on succesz....40%. BUT it's not available in the Liverpool unit.....I would have to travel quite a distance to Clatterbridge Hospital on the Wirral.

I looked into the cold cap and apparently it can be painful as your head is nearly frozen.....anyone who has washed their hair in very cold water will know how OUCH that is. To have it even colder for over an hour.....well????

Pollyanna tried to find something good.....something to be glad about and it's..... the chemo is done ONCE every THREE weeks over 18weeks. Sooooooo not two or three times a week as I'd read about.

Another glad thing........she prescribes the chemo but nurses administer it!

Went to see Tracey in breast unit to get scar redressed. She said it was nearly complete and doing good.....NICE POSITIVE as I like. Was too late for pamper session as onc didn't see me until half hour past my appt time.

Back home letter in mail from Mr Lafi with my sign off date 6 June 2016. Nice seeing end in sight.
Went to dentist at 11 am......drat I'd made mistake on my calendar....was wrong time....had to go back at 3.50pm. Getting mightilly peeved with all these appointments.

So back home.....did some Christmas decor.....then back to dentist.

He said he didn't feel confident in doing the work on left side (I think I did tell you all he looks about 12!).....but referred me to his senior colleague, whom I'm going to see at 10.10am on Friday. Chances of teeth done by xmas diminishing I think.

So a lot of blooming negatives the last few days

Cancelled Rossett...relieved! Changed cosmetic surgery appointment to 1 August 2016.

Have more hospital appointments to come.......heart check and bloods and the infusion tube (like a long canula that goes from arm to big vein near heart.....yikes yikes....fkn yikes!) This tube PICC is in for duration of chemo.....gets flushed once a week by district nurse.

My armpit, arm and bulge at side still hurt like hell. Was making marie rose sauce tonight and could feel weird muscle movements in chest. Normally we wouldn't feel that. Think Aus50 mentioned something like that post BA.


The eyebrow tattoist is highly recommended and also runs a training school, so feel fairly confident she will create good eyebrows on me. Seeing her tomorrow at 9.30.


10 December 2015

I was tired this morning when woke up just before 7.30 alarm, so was glad the beauty salon had texted me to ask if an hour later would be ok.

Plan was to have eyebrow semi permanent make up, but decided to also have eyeliner done at same time. Thorough check up before procedure and forms to sign.

A very pleasant young woman indeed...Yvette. Delicate build and small I felt she wouldn't be heavy handed.

Was surprised to find no display of brow or liner styles to choose from....also that she drew basic shape on freehand with brow pencil.....I would've thought at least a template would be used.

The selecting of colour took time; I'd gone for light brown but Yvette advised I have the medium brown as the colour fades by 30%.

After numbing brow with cream the tattooing took about 40 minutes. Only OUCH over the brow bone. Most of time I was almost asleep....very relaxed.

They do look Groucho Marks....but that is only the initial stage and they will settle to true colour soon.

Now the eyeliner! Can't use numbing cream on lash area so OUCH OUCH OUCH.especially in inner corner of eye and outer edge. Bit of an ordeal, but with a couple of breaks we got them done.

I am reasonably pleased so far....the brows have the angular look I want but the left still seems curved higher on photos....maybe I ?ift that one when taking pics.

Photo posted below.......remember they will be better in a week or so. (In the flesh they lookblack and roll on next week).

I could have had more eyeliner done, but just had to stop where they are. They do outline my eyes so I look forward to the day....fully healed...I put on makeup, foundation and lipstick and mascara....then I'll see thefull result.

Warning........the eyeliner procedure does hurt

Back home, now 3 hours later brows and eye eyes just feel like a scratchy sunburn


Semi perpmanet makeup to brows and eyeliner.

Love the liner, make go back to have outer corner built up a bit.

Eyebrows still EEEEEEEEEK! until initial stage over with and fading
completed. Don't know how long that will be.



11 DECEMBER 2015

Dentist Dr Banica at 10.10.

No chance to have left teeth completed before chemo starts!

So will just have to be patient.

Felt a bit nauseous on bus.......body getting sick of all the running about.

Back home and reeeeeeeelaaaaaaax. Nurse due to come this afternoon.


With no appointments or nurse visit; today was the first day in months that I could wake up and do whatever took my fancy.

What a wonderful feeling.

After a light breakfast and arm exercises, I put pork in wine sauce in oven to cook slowly.

Then made a start on tidying my home office. Dougie helped with the heavy or high stuff. Made good headway.....with a number of long breaks.

It had become something like those hoarders programmes ha ha....and I'm usually more ocd over being neat and tidy and at least I can walk in there and there are two completely cleared areas.

Where did all that stuff come from?

And the bra shopping spree! Blooming tons of bras. Do feel tons better for making a start on the tidying.

The pork tasted fantastic with cauli and brokolli and croquet potatoes. First proper meal I've cooked in ages. Hot chocolate cake with reduced fat squrty cream was lovely too.

Put sofabed back to seating style. All is pleasant and comforting.

Had a good lotioning session with Bio Oil, makes my skin smooth and glowy.

Armpit pain pretty much the same but I think I'm progressing with the stretching exercises, some I do well and others don't do so good.

Still very pleased with eyeliner.....when I dressed I had ten minutes to twidddle my thumbs....ha spare time....would usuallly be putting on brows and liner. Eyes still feel a bit gritty....just use saline drops.

Another free day tomorrow. Nurse on Monday (dressings are now Mon Wed Thur and no weekends).

Heart echo check on Tuesday 15 Dec at 6pm.....yes 6pm. No getting out of bed at the crack of dawn. So I feel my blip of negatives has turned a corner and I'm back in reasonably contented land.

Thinking of my realself friends who are in early stage post op, especially GF.....hoping you are all as comfy as can be....considering.


Hoping it's a good one. XXX


Feels ages since I last posted......but nothing much has changed. When it will upload I'll post eyebrow and liner pic. It is lighter and natural looking and not EEEEEK GROUCHO MARX anymore.

Been doing the usual preparing for Christmas. Been quite tired a bit fed up....mainly over feeling fat!!!!! But did manage to get into a uk size 14 dress. Was verging on 16! My usual size had always been 10 or 12 on a bloated day.

My heart check was 100% ok. Only took a pregnancy scan. Had a good look at the images on nurses computer. Watching my own heart valve open and close healthily was an amazing sight.

The incision area has become sore due to the adhesive from constant dressings. Got Cavilon barrier cream from my doctor. The two nectrotic spots are a dark pink.

Doing my arm exercises.....not as enthustiastically as at first. Improvements, but still hurts.

I suppose for many of us in various stages of recovery this may not be one of our best Christmasses....with all our ouches !

Best Wishes to all.

LOOKING AT WIGS.......OUR JacqE been modelling?????

Looking at wigs on ebay and came across this photo. I reckon it looks the image of RealSelfer JacqE.


New Year was great because for the first time in years we stayed home and watched the New Year fireworks and Big Ben ringing on TV. So relaxing.

January 4

Went to physiotherapist Julie......she was very pleased with my arm much so that I don't have to see her again unless I wish to in the future. Still have tightness and a bit sore but only when I do some of the exercises.....during normal activities it's completely ok.

Then went to Michelle to have dressing change.......bit of irritated area from dressings. She put on a huge dressing so sore areas are covered and said to leave it on for a week......then I should be completely healed.

District nurses had been visiting twice a week, but after next Monday I hopefully shan't need any more dressing changes at all.

Seeing as I hadn't received any notification in the mail regarding the start of chemo.....even though the Oncologist said provisionally 6 January.......I phoned to find out what the situation is.

GULP! Have pre chemo assessment TOMORROW 5 January at 2.20 afternoon. And will see Oncologist
the next day at sign consent and maybe even start the chemo. GULP..........stomach somersaulting. Good thing I phoned. Not impressed with their laxity in sending out confirmation letters to let me know!!!!!!!!


Hmmmmmm been sorting out the wigs I already had and looking online for others. There are some fantastic ones.......but they cost a fortune £300 upwards, they look so natural and real. But seeing as my hair will grow back I think I shan't spend so much on a wig.

Was cooking this evening and Dougie came in and said "your hair looks lovely today"........what an OAF!
He knows I'm likely to lose it and am ULTRA SENSITIVE to the whole hair issue at this moment.

I'm so undecided over whether or not to cut it short now........thought process:

If I cut it, I might be less freaked when it falls out......shorter hairs will be less traumatic than long
What if I cut it......and it doesn't fall out.......would I be more upset
If I just keep it in a plait, as it comes out it will still be all in once piece
For g-ds sake you ninny....little kids are going through this and at least your life has been quite ok
before this cancer lark......those little kids haven't known a normal life without cancer treatments.

So can't decide about cutting it. As it's nearly waist length I'd be able to fashion a wig myself. If I left it to just fall out then all the lose bits would be an incredible chore to collect from the shower, pillow, floors, supermarket, car, streets ha ha.


I had an old cheap with from my theatre days, thinned it down and put plait in back to make it look more realistic. Wigs that are too tidy tend to look fake. The back view pretty much looks like my own hair when I do it that style.


5 JANUARY 2016
On bus to hospital.....driver was a character. Kept talking....but no-one could understand he had new false teeth that kept slipping. Drove like a madman and cursed at other drivers who got in his way. White knuckle ride. Made me even more jittery.

Arrived at hospital around 2pm early for 2.20 appointment. Few minutes after checking in the receptionist came to me and said I should have been there at 9.30 this morning. wtf???? explained about the phone call I'd made on Monday and how I hadn't received appointment letters or a call to tell about any of it.

Slightly got impression she didn't believe I had not bothered turning up and decided to just waltz in at my leisure in the afternoon.
This communication mix up over appointments had me feeling jittery and out of my usual organized smoothish flow.

Had my pre chemo assessment about an hour later. Generally going through all the side effects and what the chemo is planned for. Usual blood pressure and sats.

I asked if there was any possibility I won't lose my will definitely lose my hair...and it will like happen around the 10th to 13th day. So that's it.

Towards the end I told the nurse I would be seeing the Oncologist tomorrow {6 Jan) at 12.10.......then added that i'd like her to check this for me to make sure I have been given the CORRECT DATE, TIME AND PLACE........AND PERSON! I hid my sarcasm well. She came back and told me it was 10am tomorrow. I double checked again at the reception on my way out.

Then off to blood testing place to get bloods is a like a maze, like a city all it's own.....finally found it after many u turns.

As I waited a guy came out wearing handcuffs and a guard was holding his chain. oooooooooer I thought....a prisioner! Was quite entertained by this.....weird I know haha.

Bloods done made my way home......and got madman bus driver again. I asked a woman if he was still chuntering on and she laughed as she said yes. He was pointing out apples at the side of the road and near drove the bus into the bushes. Crikey man JUST CONCENTRATE on your driving and shut up.

Was all out of sorts back home. Home felt strange. I had taken all the decs down and done a good clean up and it looked nice......but just felt a bit weird. Dougie consoled me after my rant about mix up appointments and mad driver.

GREAT PICC line.......only having a canulla at each chemo session. Over the moon over this! Means I can have baths properly with no damned tubes to this about for 6 months. YIPEEEEEEE.

All good intentions to go to bed early. Settled myself around 10pm but couldn't sleep until 12. Then woke up every hour, worrying, nervy, stomach turning and loose bowels (tmi). At 6.30 decided to get up and start the day.

Had take my has to be between 36 or 37.5. Any ower or high I would have to ring the hospital to check if I could get the chemo that day. It was 36.5 so good to go.


Arriived 9.45 for the 10am appointment. Long day! Wasnn't seen by Oncologist until 12.30.....went through same info, what chemo I will be having, side effects etc and signed consent form. She checked my wound and it is all healed. Heart test 100%.....she even actually said it was she does have a bit of a positive side afterall. Bloods good to go.

Back to waiting room......had been going for a pee loads of times due to nerves. I must admit I was getting very nervy.........bordering on a panic attack due to holding my breath with anxiety.

At 1pm called to chemo treatment area. Nice. Would have taken a photo but my phone decided to just die. Also maybe taking selfies is such a youtubey thing to do. (Mind you I have been helped greatly by watching youtube blogs of people going through same thing as me.)

Very nice nurse Helen put the canulla in. Just a bit of an ouch.....she was EXCELLENT.....told her, and said "please let me have you every time" she replied with a little laugh that she is there every Wednesday and will try to do it for me each time.


No discomfort, no nausea or sicky feeling, no pain, no weird sensations, no tiredness except what was to be expected seeing as I didn't have a proper nights sleep.

Ate half the salmon mayo bread roll I had made.........and kept other half to test later on to see if there
was a taste change. (Btw ate it later at difference......perhaps too early to tell.)

Got my appointment card for 10.40am on Weds 27 Jan.......and blood test bag to take to testing centre the day 26 Jan.

Timed it well regarding bus......only had to wait 6 minutes. But you've guessed it........madman again. And again he was chuntering on. He nearly didn't stop the bus......I was halfway in the road waving my arm. He groans and moans each time he has to stop to pick up passengers.

Said to lady in front on me that it's that maniac driver again.....hold on to the bars. She laughed and said she had had him everyday. He was trying to be helpful to a foreign passenger over where she wanted to go......but by the time he'd finished even I was confused and I KNOW the road she wanted.
On and on about saving £2.20 by walking two stops. When she got off earlier than his suggested stop he went on and on to another lady about the whole saga.

Thing was he had the bus STOPPED as he was doing wonder it's always late. I shouted did good trying to help can you drive the bus, I'm dying for a cup of tea. (Should have said sh*t ha ha).

When I was getting off I cheerily said "thanks........thanks for the great ride" and he thought I meant it as I did say it smiling and the rest on the bus laughed.


(I know there may be some pretty horrid side effects to come.....but for today i feel great, relieved and happy and in a jolly good mood.)
Dougie keen to cut my hair tonight to have done with it......but I said no let's leave it a day or two and make a special time for it as I'm happy now over today's experience and don't want to end it being upset. Seems like a good plan to me.

So going to relax now, see if there is anything good on TV.......hope you are all well today too.


7 JANUARY 2016

Woke around 8.00 and dozed until 9.30.......had gone to sleep late last night.

Took my morning anti sickness meds with milkshake.
Feel fine, just very slightly tired...and relaxed.

At 3pm I have to inject myself with Neulasta which is to help with white blood cell count. Bit freaked....but have read instructions over and over and the needle isn't very long. Only has to be done once 24 hours after it's not every day.

As I write it's 10.55 am so there are a few hours before I have to do that.

Feel quite happy again.


Bit apprehensive while waiting for time to do it.

But it was no problem at all. No is afterall only going into fat.
Injected in my belly....plenty-o-fat there haha. Took less than minute.

On a high with achievement and relief.

Going out for a walk and few things from shops.....then back to watch Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Another good day.



8 JANUARY 2016
Woke around 5am with negative thoughts. My past obsessional comparing myself to my super rich sister and feeling very inferior. A side effect of the Neulasta is it can exacerbate psychotic or depressive episodes in those with histories of these illnesses. I had a major breakdown about 12 years ago.

Then spoke to myself "IT'S THE MEDICATION" and will do this if I get any more episodes.

Took the anti sickness and steroid meds at breakfast.

My body seems to have just gone to my healthy routine I had before I met eating properly....breakfast, lunch and dinner at pretty much same time each day. Also no problems over keeping quite thirsty most of the plenty of water and juices and a can of Nrich to make sure I get all vitamins.

Feel energized. Did more sorting out of office/sewing room/tool station/junkrooom!

Really enjoyed my dinner at 7pm........tiger prawns and salad with gorgeous small vine tomatoes. 6 prawns but I ate 5 and left some salad. May have it later if I'm hungry. Steroids can make one overeat, but that hasn't happened to me......yet?

Think what helps me is doing going to shops or sorting cupboards out to stop me ruminating.

And I tell myself I'm not jealous of my sister, I wouldn't want to be her with all her millions (from her sons football career....not work of her own). Don't reallly know why a lot of my breakdown had me very distressed over the relentless comparison torment all day long and in my nightmares.

But once I'd set to on my office sort out, had my lovely meal and got myself comfy settled on my gorgeous sofa I'd forgotten all about her.

Tomorrow is the last day for set meds. After that I have anti-nausia tabs to take as and when needed.

So feeling have the odd thought "it may get worse" but it's only fleeting and I bring myself back to NOW. And now I feel well, full of life, quite happy.......and now ready to watch the new series of Mr Selfridge.

Another good day.

Best wishes to everyone.....hope you are all findling something to be glad about too. Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter (I think).......was my childhood heroine....have any of you read that book?

DAY 4 OF CHEMO 1 - Woke up feeling fine

9 JANUARY 2016

Woke at a normal time of had a good sleep. Just coming out of an informative dream about wigs. I.e wigs suitable for chemo are different to normal shall google that later today.

I had been watching a man on youtube who does great work on wigs last night. He is called Super Wig Maker.

Did some stretching exercises while I was still in bed, had nrich drink to take meds....not hungry. Cup of tea.......seem to have gone off coffee suddenly.

Got very slight flu like symptoms......but I sort of had that before the chemo as there is a big going round. Bit of cough but that could just be system clearing itself of toxins. Nothing problematic..but I shall keep a record and watch for any worsening, as I'd need anti biotics if it turns into a chest infection.



Yesterday went fine. Just bugged over this constipation.
Ate more spinach.......which fortunately I love, more water, exercise.

Last day of the set meds I had to take for nausea and steroid. Noticed that 20 mins after steroid was full of energy........superwoman wonder some people are addicted to them. But I don't like the other effects like headache.

Knowing how they worked and the affect on me is reasurring. So used the engery up by more work on the office pit......which is now much better. Got a load of stuff to take to charity shop. A very satisfying end to the day.
Still got that foggy head feeling, like a mild hangover or how you feel when you take antibiotics or have a cold. No real worry.

Even had a bit of a sofa nap......needed it as those steroids keep me awake. Bed at a reasonable time.

Woke at 4am wide awake......watched the news on tv. Felt a bit rotten over the constipation, belly like a balloooooooooon.

Back to sleep and woke again at 8am and got up to start the day. Tea, water, half can nrich (which may be contributing to constipation seeing as it's milk, so may cut down on it and take vitamins another way.)

Did ten minutes exercise to get things moving.

Back and forth to toilet.....but only wind. (tmi lol).
Decided being on sofa was waste of time as I'm not ill, so in office doing googling until I get ready to take stuff to charity shop.

Then back to toilet to have the tinniest little bullet pooh. Over the moon.......things will be shifting today no RELIEVED......and I'll probably feel much better once I've been to toilet properly.

MOOD 9 OUT OF 10......AM REALLY DEEPLY HAPPY WITHIN MY BEING......which sounds strange I suppose considering alll this stuff I'm going through.


Continuing on from last informative and very ouch time was had dealing with constipation!!!!!!

After googling and you tubing...........with lots of EEEEEEEEEK.....I got myself quite cleared out. Did a modified enema.

Phoned my GP on Tuesday 12 Jan over the sore throat and general yeuk feeling. She got me an appointment with an other doc right away.

Dr Wigglesworth (what a name lol) checked me out, was pleased to see my oxygen level is 98%. He thinks it's a virus, not an infection. Told me to get blood count test next day.

Next day, Weds, feeling rotten I went to community blood testing place, 5 bus stops away. Was wrapped up like a Syberian trekker! Also wore a mask over mouth an nose so as not to pick up anymore germs!!!!!!!
Back home to hot soup and recuperation. The breathlessness and wheezing chest had me feeling weak.

Phone call later on from another GP at the practise to tell me my blood count was low and that she is contacting the oncology chemo alert nurse for advice. Be prepared to go to A&E.

She got back to me very quickly and said been advised to put me on antibiotics. Script was ready to collect from pharmacy and Dougie went to collect it.

The weather has gotten colder.......looks like it may snow.
So heating on high and plenty of good homemade soups is the thing at the moment.

Still managing to do 3 or 4 @10minute exercises during day.


Had taken first antibiotic yesterday. Woke this morning about 7am had porridge for breakfast. Took anti biotic at 8.
Started some exercises.....but found them a chore and boring.........sooooo connected my tablet to tv and played my youtube music collection.

That's more like it........danced for ages. Feeling so much better. Chest easing up and throat not as bad.

Sorted some kitchen cupboards you've probably noticed by now.....I do do a lot of sorting out lol.

Have gone back to my pre-Dougie eating style. I happen to love healthy food and feel sick if I eat things like pies, bacon, fatty stuff, biscuits etc. It is my own fault for just picking on food that I don't even like just cos it's there.

Dougie would get me a large bar of chocolate every night......1000 calories!!!!!!! So after 3 or so years I piled the weight on. And this huge belly is so I will be slowly losing weight on my proper eating plan.

I'm 35 pounds overweight.......and not liking it one's all on my belly.

My hair is so dry and even looks orange! I had bleached it myself. It felt it's already dead......yeuk. Got Dougie to cut 6 inches off it and I put a light brown colour on natural colour.

I had set myself a project a year ago to never get it cut to see how long it would glad it's fact it feels more comfortable.

Won't bother keeping any of it, it wasn't in good condition anyway.
Expected time to start going bald is about 2 weeks from now.

Just wondering about makeup. Foundation goes to hairline....without a hairline it's gonna be weird with a tinted face and white head.

Another big side effect is sense of smell. Perfumes, detergents etc smell overpoweringly awful. Went into shop and the perfumed smell was so strong I was gasping for air. This must be what it's like for sniffer dogs. Haha it's like a super power.

Rinsing my laundry with vinegar to get rid of the sickly perfume smell. Even lipstcik stunk of cheap perfumd and lip balm smells like petrol.

So gonna go green and buy unperfumed unadulterated pure cleansers and make from now on. To think we are all taking in these chemical smells without being aware of it. Can't be good for our lungs.

My taste hasn't changed yet. Food tastes even better.....more enhanced. Salad, veg, fruit, nuts, cheese etc. Meat smells horrid......but I'm not overkeen on meat anyway. I prefer fish.

MOOD 10 OUT 10


Up about 7am.bit tired after yesterday's dance marathon lol
I found a great app a few days ago......MyFitnessPal
Keeping a record of food I eat and exercises I do.

Great thing is it shows the nutritional value and warns if you are going over your limit on sugars fats etc. It's a great motivator and good for me to have a complete record of food.

Did more going to start lessons viz YouTube on Salsa, Bollywood and others. Keeps the interest up with variety.

In the afternoon I organized my nutritious food into graze boxes...seeds,salad sticks, dried fruit etc.

Peanut butter arrived in mail. From a health company dealing with the sports industry. Fantastic. 100% peanut with no additives, salt or sugar. The usual supermarket stuff is loaded with salt sugar and even preservatives.

And it's very good for you as it's high in protein and the natural oil in it is the healthy sort. Only have about a dessert spoon a day so not overrdoing the calories.

I used to live in Greece and ate the Mediterranean diet all the time. Salad and fruit with every meal. Fantastic vegetable dishes. Olive oil and garlic. They eat veg meals 4 days a week, meat once a week and fish the other two. I was always fit as a fiddle......until I returned to the UK; then gradually got into unhealthy additions like cake, biscuits, too much meat etc.

Seen Byonny, my primary doctor.......went over my current issue which has all the docs watching out for me. It's called neurapenia..... dangerously low blood count which means an infection could get very serious. Eeeeeeeek. My symptoms are improving, throat better and breathing easier. Will have another blood test on Monday to see how things are...and she's letting me have it at the surgery so I don't have to trek to the blood centre.

On way home stopped at hair salon to book my haircut.....tomorrow at 2pm.

Thinking I may as well cut more off tonight so put it in a pony and asked DOUGIE to do it as I couldn't get the scissors angled right. I was completely fine....even excited. Aaaaaaaw poor Dougie was upset. (later he was doing his mooching in the office which usually forbodes another of his comic turns.........he'd put the hair in a plastic bag with a note on it "my babe's pubes". Laugh.
It's a short Bob and sooooooooooo freeing....not getting tangled or in the way that very long hair does.

Quite looking forward to getting the pixie cut tomorrow. I've had that style before, when I was 9 and in 2009.
Will try to upload photo of what I'm going for. I know it's not going to last and I'll be bald at some stage.....but for now it's a bit of pleasure.

Feeling good 10/10




At hairdresser's talked about style I damned phone wouldn't work.....trying to find the pic and quickly zooming through photos as Max looked on......eeek closed phone as mastectomy pic appeared!

I looked a mess in the mirror......why do salon's have such harsh lighting....I looked almost bald on my thinning crown hair and my face just a baggage, square and just not me. My body looked like a huge square box. Consoled myself with thoughts of passing the salon mirror test after losing the weight and getting facelift etc.

Hair turned out fantastic....will upload pics soon as I can. Makes me look like I have thicker hair on top.

Max said he hoped I wasn't going to put my hat on haha. It was raining and I didn't have a brolly. Back he came with a plastic hood. I was ready to leave when the other hairdresser said he'd give me a lift in his car.....I live only just up the road.

What service for £24!

Soon as Dougie saw me he was bowled over.......thinks it's really great and kept hovering then sat next to me on sofa. I wanted to do the usual tweak we women do after being to the salon.

(Wasn't going to put what followed......but decided RealSelf is the place where we can be totally honest.....otherwise what's the point?)

Anyway Dougie going on and on about going out tonight! I wanted to unwind.....ABSORB and process the experience....the yeuk mirror image and resolve to get it sorted this year.......and to spend the evening putting on make up and generally mirror gazing at my lovely hair.......then if I wanted to go out it would be at the right stage.

But no Dougie wouldn't let up. Reminding him that I was sticking to my healthy eating regime. Was on antibiotics and couldn't have a drink and I would be having a blood test on Monday. Also this neurapenia could turn serious suddenly. I have to take my temperature numerous times a day.

I feel great but I am in the danger time zone.....and won't know until Monday if my blood count has improved. Going into town in Winter where GERMS abound in packed clubs and pubs.

Also I feel far too fat at the moment to enjoy dressing up. BTW did my dance workout this morning.

Started getting evening clothes together a d was quietly sorting jewellery to wear.

Told Dougie to let me have an hour to myself.....but no.....on and again he goes. Jumping from one idea to another about where to go.

I said the local place Orrell Park Ballroom...literally just up the road.....but no he wants to take the train to town.....which would end up his style of night out....traipsing from pub to pub while I'm blistering my feet in heels. FKN MEN JUST DO NOT THINK AT ALL!! !

He had my head frazzled.......then he asked if I'd put the lottery on and to Google places to go..

So NOT GETTING my own time to digest! Two minutes later he's back in the room asking where the ironing board and iron are........just couldn't help it "where they be been for the past fkn 5 years I said. Yelled I mean! Told him I was sick of him being too lazy to remember things and constantly asking me where everything is rather than just look....or rather just go to where they ALWAYS are.
So he goes all moody faced as if I've just beaten the shit out of him.....which I fkn feel like doing g.

So all on edge....mind all over the place and angry as hell I've come here to RANT!

I had e x p l a I n e d to him the other day the dangers of me getting infected and that keeping stress down is essential for my body to recover from chemo blasts.

I can feel the adrelinine pumping and my heart pounding. He doesn't seem to get it. How he goes on so much about what HE wants to do....ignoring all the stuff I'm processing and things I have to organize.

I can't even have a good slug of Tia Maria to cheer me up.

Feel railroaded again.....just like when I ended going on that holiday to Jersey.

I had told him that for 6 months things may be challenging and that around November things will likely be getting back to normal after reconstruction etc. We can go out of course. But within reason......and not in my literally first week post chemo plus this neurapenia stuff.

He's just this moment passed me on the way to the kitchen......I said to him "I am going to tell you this because it's IMPORTANT.....unless you don't want to you want to know or what?" Rolls his eyes, so I just turned away.

Go on what is it? he asked. I told him I wasn' t going to say unless I had his full attention and not half of it thinking about how's feeling hard done to.
Then slowly, clearly and in one sentence I told him the dangers of being in public....and that I could drop dead in hours if the blood count dropped further. And I'm not exaggerating....even my docconfirmed it's live threatening and all med services are on alert standby for numbers that will act immediately and be here should my temperature rise or I suddenly feel very ill.

Fkn around is some flu infested stuffy pub in the middle of town AIN'T a good or responsible idea. He just yelled OK we won't go out! And left the room.

He could have said he understood, apologized for being so self-centred again and try to make amends by asking me what I would like to do this evening or if there was anything he could do to turn my night back to a happier place.

But he doesn't understand because he doesn't want to.

So I'm in a bad mood. Want to get back to my happy happy dancing to music vids and then have a nice light meal.

I do find it difficult to get out of a bad mood.....usually brought on by some t#at pushing beyond my normal patient considerate nature.

So he's managed to trample all over my joy at my hair and got me stressed again.

If he cares asks what's for dinner I may really blow!

Now gonna find a way to unwind and get me back into my head, but am so jittery at the moment and tears are threatening


Photos of my great new haircut. I'm holding my head straighter, feeling all bright.
I can wear it with sideburns to front or behind ears.
I had this cut a few years ago and my dad and sister said how great it was everyday for about a month!
So it's a style that I suit I suppose..........when my hair grows back after end of chemo I may have this style again.

ENJOYING IT IMMENSLY....Even got a pixie smile to go with it.......and will get a wig just like it which will be far easier to wear than a long one.

Soon as I know my blood count is ok at the beginning of next week I will go to the wigdresser and get a nice wig. I have the £150 wig prescription.

Even though I'll start to go bald within the next few weeks I'm fairly okish about it the uplift this cut has given me has filled my spirit again.


The only make up I have on is a bit of mascara. So the liner does show. And the eyebrows look very natural.

For those who haven't followed my saga......I had semi-permanent make up on eyebrows and eyeliner.


Learnt something today......hairdresser told me my natural hair colour is dark blonde no7.
I'd always thought is was a kind of charcoal..........everyone in my family said it was mouse.


Haha having a bit of fun here.......some old photos, not clear quality though.


Tuesday I got stuck in to the major housecleaning by doing windows.No arm pain even though I had to reach high and work on a ladder. Window sparkling and framework gleaming.......very satisfying.

Felt completely normal, throat problem gone.

Great news.......blood test result back to normal too.

Wednesday.......knowing hairs sheds about 10-14 days from first chemo I just gently pulled some through my fingers. It has started to come out....only a small amount......must admit my tummy did a wobble.

Pleased to find I've lost 5lb in weight in 2 weeks

CHEMO 2 and other stuff..... being BALD EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

Had second chemo on 27 Jan 2016. Problems with veins in left arm.....painful and nurse trying to get me to get a picc line. Had to use right arm for last of session........too much risk there for future use though due to lymph removal.

Anyway thinking about getting the picc line before next session. If it has to be it has to be.

It's now the 4th day after this chemo and I feel rotten with the usual gastrointestnal stuff, constipation, terrible acid reflux, bloating and generally feeling yeuky.

Managing to still do normal things but my energy levels drops off very quickly and I get so breathless.

Can't tell if it's the same or worse than last time........first time was novelty getting used to it it's just a bore.


Ah well, this is harder to describe. First off with the mastectomy and loss of hair I must admit I feel

Hair came out rapidly about the 4th day after haircut. Woke one morning minus hat and looked a freak with what was left sticking up madly. So got the sheers and trimmed in close. On and off well freaked by it.....even scared sometimes.

Wear assortment of beanie hats round the house.....wigs are too itchy and hot. Photo of back of my head is the one that freaks me the most......don't really know why.

I'll probably only update around chemo weeks as there isn't really much to report. Just getting through the days the best I can.
Dont' think I can get used to be bald.......had tracker hat on and hooded jacket the other day to go to hospital to have my arm checked and every bit of wind found every nook and cranny......freezing.

So going out I wear a wig I've thinned down to look natural, a hat and a hood. Old days when got home from work it off, bra off........comfies on.... R E L A X.

Now it' off, false boob off, hood off, hat off, scarf off, wig off.........and not quite relaxed cos I look a real freak show. So on goes a beanie hat.


On Wednesday 3 Feb had a liquid diet to see if I could ease my awful stomach issues.
Seemed to work, as the next day felt well enough to start doing some house chores.
Still had liquids until early evening......then had a chopped up hard boiled egg and wholemeal toast. H E A V E N L Y.

Thursday 4th managed to put together a flatpack cabinet for my bathroom....took me all day with lots of breaks.
Ate normally......but small portions.

Phoned hospital over getting a prosthetic boob and will have an appointment in a few weeks.

Also got the courage up to phone about the Picc line for the chemo. Upshot is that it will be fitted on the 15 Feb......just before my next chemo on the 17th.

Friday......feeling normal again. Still get a bit fatigued, but breathlessness has gone, eating and sleeping normally and activity level improved.

So putting it all here so I can look at it after next chemo to show that it takes about a week to get back on my feet properly.

Eagerly waiting for my new short wigs to come. Will get round to going to the NHS wig supplier soon.

Intend to go into town (Liverpool, UK) to enjoy the Chinese New Year Celebrations at the weekend. There is a huge Chinese community here and they put on a fantastic street show.


Messing about........put make up on my head. Eyeshadow!

The wig I posted further up I did a big trim on. (Why do wigs have soooooo much hair?)

When I looked in mirror it was ME. Had this style years ago. The crown is naff because it's a cheap wig with no skin parting....but it's great with a hat on.


On Friday 12 Feb I went to the breast clinic to be fitted with a prosthetic breast.....but can't have one yet as my wound has reopened a bit due to the chemo. So back to wound dressings again. Drat.

Was a bit disconcerted when in answer to my "oh well by the time all this is sorted out I'll probably be having the reconstruction, and won't need a prosthesis."............she told me that after radiotherapy the skin will go leathery and may not have enough stretch for an implant. "WHAT? mean NEVER getting a reconstruction?.........she just pursed her lips.

In my head I was like "I'll see about that!.......I WILL be getting a reconstruction.

Tried not to dwell on it.

Got a better breast pad that's something.


I've put a diagram pic to show what it is.
Had to travel by two trains and a bus to get to Clatterbridge to have it fitted.

Really nervous and sick to my stomach as I just didn't want to have this done: but the risk of losing the use of my arm meant it just had to be done.

The nurse was was a bit painful but bearable.

While I was waiting to get my coffee in the coffee shop I noticed some blood on my coat sleeve. By the time I got the coffee there was more blood. Yikes! So went back to see the nurse who redressed it. Good thing I had stopped to get a coffee and not gone straight home.

Arm a bit sore, but will probably be ok tomorrow. She took my bloods so I don't have to go to have them done tomorrow.
Next chemo is this I'll be half way through.

Have been more tired since last chemo and a bit down and fed up......just riding it out.

Came across a series that had been shown on tv and I hadn't seen it first time round. It's called A Place To Call Home. I love it. I'm up to season 2 episode 2. Trying to find the rest of the series to watch free online


I had third chemo on 17 was easier with the picc line.

The picc line hurt for about a week but it's now ok.

This time the side effects were more intense. I had been warned that as time went on I would feel
worse and it's true.

The constipation took longer to sort out and then I was left with a constant stomach ache and going to the toilet about three times a day......which is still happening as I write.

So have been feeling really rotten, tired and now anxious about the next chemo on 9 March as I'm dreading the side effects.

Didn't go out for over two weeks as I constantly needed the toile and felt so weak.

Yesterday, Saturday, I managed to go out to the Vale for a bit of shopping and was so glad to be out.
Inbetween my really weak times I managed to carry on with usual household chores but not able to do anything more than that.

So you can imagine I'm feeling really fed up. There was a day not long after the chemo when I thought I really can't go on with this. But it passed.

One goodish thing is I'm not as hungry as I usually am, there were a couple of days when I just had liquids as I couldn't swallow anything. Result being I lost more weight. Yippee. Not supposed to lose weight during chemo.....but a few pounds is no big deal. They only get concerned if you lose a lot of weight as the chemo is measured according to your weight.

Only thing to do during this time is to find things to entertain and distract me. I watched Brideshead Revisited from beginning to end on youtube. Now seeking out something equally absorbing.

Nurses have been coming to flush the picc line and redress it and the wound area.

I have a busy day coming up on chemo 4 day. First 9.30 with the radiotherapy doctor to plan the radiotherapy. I've read that it's done everyday except weekends for about 15 days. Hope it's afternoon sessions as I hate morning appointments. Then I have boods taken and the chemo is at 11.45. (This one takes less time)

I had a few messages from ladies who have been worried, seeing as I hadn't updated in a while. Sorry to worry you. I know what it's like. There is a lady I'm following who hasn't updated since Christmas and a lot of us are worried about her too.

I suppose I've reached a milestone.......halfway through chemo.

I thought being bald meant that.....completely smooth-headed bald. But I have a coating of fine hair.

Don't bother at all with wigs at home. Finally found some cotton beanies which don't itch. Don't think about it until I catch sight in the toilet weird.

I look forward to the day my hair starts growing back, not for any vanity reason, more because it'll be all this yeuky ill feeling is just so BORING.


Had the fourth round of chemo on 9 March.

The day after wasn't too bad.

Then as usual the really rotten side effects started on third day. Had to self-inject for 7 days to increase blood count.

Absolutely horrendous time. Going to toilet all day long and vomitting up everything I ate.

Terrible constant stomach pains, bone pains, shortness of breath, nosebleeds.

I don't know if it's the side effects of chemo or the blood count stuff.

Today is my first day without injection and I managed to keep some soup down.
Have only been able to have porridge and soup.

The taste and smell issue is very severe. Most food tastes awful and I can't swallow solids. Also a raging sore throat and have lost my voice.

So this update doesn't have any good news......except I've lost some weight at least. ha ha


Couple of days ago I stopped feeling so sick and my bowels had settled to normal.

I went to the Vale for shopping, walking really slowly. Then had a freak out moment in one
store as I was putting items from basket onto conveyor. I felt my innards reaching up through
my pipes to my mouth and thought I was going to puke all over the place. Grabbed the pack
of kitchen wipes just in case. Managed to hold it off. But it scared me like hell.

Felt all trembly going home, and was glad to see Dougie who was all reasurring and making cups
of tea etc. First time I've really been able to lean on someone while being upset, usually kept
everything to myself.
Was so upset because I didn't feel normal. Not my striding gal-about-town-got-plenty-to-do
self. But she's there in the wings, waiting to run with me when the time is right.

So all settled back on sofa.....I realized I had gone out a bit too soon.

Bit by bit I have been able to eat. Toast, egg, baked potato. All tasted of nothing but I
managed to chew and swallow.

Today I'm feeling near normal. Had my first proper meal, cod in butter sauce, peas and
chips (french fries)......and boy oh boy it was HEAVEN!!!!!!

District nurse came to see to picc line and we had a laugh over my voice as inbetween
whispering it would suddenly go really loud in an Excorcist type voice.

Been on computer most of day in contact with economists, journalists, government ministers
as I'm doling research over how the UK Government is treating sick and disabled people.
Cutting benefits and services to them, whilst giving tax breaks to the rich.

There are moments of intense anger at it.....and then some great laughs with fellow campaigners.
You can seek me out on Twitter if you want. POLWIN12, say hi.

So I do feel nearly normal today.
Got my letter regarding radiotherapy planning.appointment 11 April, and its 4pm so that
is a glad thing. No morning hike over the water to Wallasey.
I go to be measured, poked and prodded and
prepared for when radio starts, probably mid to end of May.

SO A GOOD DAY....and tomorrow I shall have a proper English Breakfast.
Life is on the good road again.




On 30 March 2016 had my fifth chemo, the next one on 20 April will be the last.

The week before the nerves kicked in, dreading it. As per my habit I couldn't sleep
the night before. Mainly due to the steroids I had to take on that day. My last real eating day was 29th, day before. Realized it would be last chance for a proper meal before the yeuk stomach and bowel issues kicked in good style I decided to feast. Was eating egg on toast while king prawns were defrosting for evening meal when in came Dougie with the entire contents of the local Chinese takeaway.

Fishcake, steak and kidney pie, meat pie, chips, Chinese crispy prawns, a wrap (which I can't stand....and had told him the last three times he bought them...pah).

So half a pie, handful of chips and about 5 prawns later I was busting. Not quite
King Henry VIII but it felt like it.

So was bleary eyed at 7am in morning after being awake all night....could have
just snuggled under duvet and dozed for life......nearly did.

Left home at 8.30 for the fiasco bus that was as usual late!
Had bloods taken at 9.30......and went for walk, coffee, more walk, a sit down on the grounds bench. Then went back into hospital to try to retrace the steps of my
surgery see the route that would have been taken. Don't like to miss out
on any of my life's experiences....even if I was zonked out at the time. Sort of
worked it out, but couldn't be exact as not allowed near theatres of course.

So that killed some time before my chemo appointment at 10.50.
Lots of laughing over my voice as in goes from a whispher to a loud husky boom, like a teen boy breaking.

There is a character on old UK tv programme Rising Damp....Miss Jones, and I sound just like if I've smoked 100 cigarettes in five minutes.

So each time they asked me my name on reception I said "MIss Jones".....laughter.

Getting weighed, cleaning of Picc line then the chemo pumps in. Organized with my lunch and crossword puzzle.

And took photos, always seem to get my head only half in, appropriate as I feel like I only have half a head at moment with a frazzled memory most of time.

All over by 1.30 ish so missed the 1.36 bus......waited for the 2.04 one that didn't arrive, so got taxi at 2.14. Went to bank to take out money, got cat treats and some clothes......don't know why I in white leggings and tops at home and always go to shops in jeans and while t top.

Had 2 minute 'ghost' bus rant when got in.......and tried to rest but couldn't as had
taken my lunchtime steroids......was a twitter night, and morning and afternoon, and broke off to update here.

So have had no sleep for two days and am not a bit tired, be like this until tomorrow as last steroids are around 2pm today.

But the effects have kicked in right away. Bowel hassle......can't go so got my
enormous bloated belly, painful, dozy head and heartburn. So feeling grotty and
know worse is to come.

So updating here while I can, don't worry if I'm not back until a few weeks, you know the score.

Did some online poster artwork yesterday.....and was pleased when one was used
as headliner on an online campaign site over government's intention to bring this
country to its knees by selling it off. Mainly the National Health Service which has
always been free. Turning it Private.

Have some laughs on it too mind.

Hiccup yesterday....realized I hadn't got my injection medication when I got home.
So phone calls and arranging for Dougie to go collect it that is a fiasco......he's got blown up map all circled, a letter for nurse in an envelope, if he doesn't phone me 5 times in a flap and gets back with job done....I'll be amazed.

He's very many things except little errands....the he reverts to the usual Big Oaf.

Glad to have him help me out I really don't feel up to trecking to the
hospital again today. Would do it if I had to.....but it'd have to be a taxi job both

Well as usual I end on a good note.......ONLY ONE MORE CHEMO TO GO! ONLY ONE MORE CHEMO TO GO!

Hair will start growing after that.....the meds will end, the picc line taken out, no
more district nurses until the radiotherapy starts to do skin care.

I've come a long way since October 2015 when diagnosed.....other day had bit of really hit me that I'd lost a breast....always a delayed reactioner I am.

Cried a bit and sad a bit....but got over it.

So unless I post in the meantime, the next time you hear from me will be after my LAST CHEMO........LAST CHEMO......DOESN'T THAT SOUND ABSOLUTELY GREAT!

Hoping you are all doing well, whatever stage you are at. And the ones who got all their work done and are teenybopping all over the place saying things like
"Beatles, Perry Como, Sinatra"....never heard of them....I wasn't born then....haha.
Summer is just round the corner, life is good. (if I forget about my balloon belly).

Mood 9/10......would have been 10.....but for the belly and bowel stuff.

Love to you all XXX


It's the Grand National Race at Aintree....just up the road from me....this weekend.
Our friends are going and wanted to get tickets. I did it online for them and they gave me the cash.

Whilst have a bit of a youtube music afternoon, me dopey on the settee and Dougie being 15 again with his same old same old Sex Pistols,Jam,Queen et al, I didn't even have energy to roll my eyes lol.

Just happened to look at date of upload.....and suddenly remembered that I'd taken money out of the bank.....and had paid for those race tickets. Yikes all my direct debits go out tomorrow the 1st. It was 4.45. Mad dash to get dressed to get there in time to put some money back in. Dougie had done the earlier errand of collecting meds, in fact he was there and back in a zoom. Well impressed.

But I couldn't chance him getting the bank stuff right....also he was feeling abit ill after guzzling beer fast while getting over excited and his 15 yr old music again.

I felt week and feet were sore and swollen, cursing trying to get boots on. Another side effect.

Decided to get but even though bank is only at next stop. In done and out again ....then got bus back. Feeling like an old biddy.

But it saved blistering my feet. Now back home, Dougie dozing off his teen beer splurge and I'm in office doing this. Finally claming down and feeling everything is in order again.

Take my last steroids soon after early evening meal. also anti-nausea one. So wonder if I'll not sleep tonight.....but will surely make up for it tomorrow.

So big sigh of project will be bowel sorting. Leave you with that one! ha ha


After my last post I did manage to catch up on sleep for days......and days.
Sofa with duvet queen I was.

Really rotten again, lost voice again and new side effects, blisters on feet and very
painful fingernails. Some lose toe and fingernails, or they go black....hope that
doesn't happen to me.

Finished injections.

Bowels....constipation gone to be replaced with achey belly and going to
toilet about 7 times a day.

Just today managed to eat semi solid food, prawn in tomato sauce with rice.
Had been having soups, porridge, rice pudding for days.

My chemohead/chemobrain seems worse, like a sort of fuzzy surrealness,
forgetful and dopey.

The wound on my mastectomy side has finally healed completely so district
nurse only comes on Wednesdays to redress picc line.

MORE HAIR LOSS......if that's possible haha
My head is smooth bald now, and eyelashes and brows, underhair and nether
regions......all gone.

The tatooed eyeliner and brows......brows gone a faint brown line and liner has
disappeared except for a little flick at the edge of left eye. Well that was a waste
of money! Wonder if I'd gone for the top up if it would have been a better result...
but I can't have any procedures while I'm still having chemo.

Want to get the final work done on my teeth, but again have to wait until chemo

I have my appointment this Monday 11 April for Radiotherapy Preparation, bit nervy about
it. Just hope I don't have to have a scan. Still feeling weak and exhausted so a bit
concerned about the journey to the hospital. 2 Trains and a bus.

As fate is dealing me such a lovely time it added another car is playing up...have to
sort the battery out next week.

Now what's positive? Hmmmm Eeeeermmmm.....thinking.....erm

Lost bit more weight, don't have to worry about mascara running coz I've
no lashes to put it on har har.

Generally just a bit fed up with feeling ill all the time.......but in 10 days it wil be



Well all the anxiety and worry before my radiotherapy preparation was unecessary....but we can't help being nervy when we have things like that to
worry about.

The two train one bus journey didn't seem as long as the last time. Didn't have to wait too long to be seen.

Lovely Irish nurse had me at ease and joking right away.

Just had to take top and bra off, and wig and first time someone
other than Dougie has seen me bald. No problems.

Had to lay on the CAT scan couch, position with arms above my head and
a chin strap on to keep it still. Then taken through scan, no problems as it's quite open and didn't have to do the breathing and holding stuff.

Then marked with four dots, between breasts, each side and on midriff.

Then dressed and ready to go after getting my appointment list.

And yipee my daily radiotherapy is at 1.45pm each day from 11 May for 3 weeks. NO MORNING TREKKING!

Have been quite out of sorts this past week, bit depressed, quite tired and sad.
Was warned this could happen. Just my body catching up on it all I suppose.

Hope the PICC line is taken out right after my LAST CHEMO, but heard it can be left in for another week or so. Don't see why I would need it in any longer.

Twisted my back the other day in the shower. I had put clingfilm over the picc site to keep it dry but still jumped out of the way of the shower spray as it touched that have annoying pain on left lower back.

Probably it's this that's making me miserable.

Managing to eat a bit better but still can't take down bread, or eat meat.
Only good thing about that is I'm not getting any fatter ha ha.

LAST CHEMO keeps coming into my head to make me SMILE at least.

One thing about being bald is if I go ahead with facelift before Christmas....if I'm allowed there won't be any hair getting in the way haha.

Also impatient to get my teeth finally done. Hope I remember to as at my LAST CHEMO how soon I can do it.

So after writing all that down.....I feel a bit better.

Love to you all as usual. XXX


Forgot to mention, got the car battery sorted.
Just bought a new one.


Yesterday managed to go to Vale for some shopping. Weak and heavy limbed on way there, had to walk slowly

Takes longer to recover when I get back home, so tired that Dougie had to put the shopping away.....more "where does this go.....where does this go......where does this go?" ha ha.....the oaf.

Slept in until 11am this morning, phone call from my breast nurse Tracey from way back. So nice of her to call. She just wanted to know how I was doing and
told her it was MY LAST CHEMO TOMORROW.

Will be seeing her on 2nd June when I see Mr Lafi.

Later felt a bit glum because I don't think there's the end of chemo bell to ring
where I have my treatment. Have my own whistle....might use that....but suddenly feel a bit shy over drawing attention to myself. hmmmm

Said to Dougie....."MY LAST CHEMO TOMORROW, then my hair will grow back"
Dougie: "Can I have a last chemo too?"
(He's bald, hence the joke)

Got some boxes of chocolates and thank you card to give to nurses and staff on the unit......but suddenly feel a bit shy. Probably be ok though.

So one more sleep then chemo over with!

Got through it......amazing.


The NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE (NHS) in the UK is under dire threat of becoming a Private Enterprise.

It has been free since the 1940s when Bevan brought it in to provide health treatment for poor who otherwise would have died due to lack of a shilling to pay a doctor.

There are campaigns to stop this destruction of a much needed service. Through privatisation many current nurses and doctors may be dumped in favour of cheaper and more profitable staff.

This is my postershared on twitter.



Well the day finally arrived for last chemo.
Had only two hours sleep night before, improvement on last times when I'd had none.

Bus arrived on hospital at 9.50, bloods then saw senior nurse to discuss if I was well enough for last chemo, and prescription for hormone tablets for be taken for five years. Asked her if I'd grow a beard.....answer no.
But menopausal sypmtoms and risk of osteoporosis.

Plus belly fat.....THAT will get sorted though....surgically....maybe get a new boob from it ha ha.

Gave 3 boxes of chocolates to receptionists and with the help of the goafer tea making man arranged for the thank you card and 15 boxed of chocs to be put in nurses rest room. All were so pleased. Job done.

Went for walk about to kill an hour; lovely warm sunny day so jacket off, head was a bit hot with wig and hat though.

Was seen spot on right time at 11.50 for chemo. So impatient but passed time
having my homemade lunch of greek salad, yogurt and coffee. The finished
crosswod that my mind went dead on last time.

Asked goafer tea maker if he'd be my last chemo bell, the response from nurses
convinced me that they do want told them I'd donate one.

Finally at 1.05 the machine beeped.....end of chemo. Just 10 mins more for saline flush and then. OUT WITH THE PICC LINE.......was a big OUCH but short lived. and FREEDOM.

Blissful baths from now on.

Hugs from nurses, cheers from patiients and grinning ear to ear from me, off I floated out of the hospital.

Bus home but stopped on way to pop into garden of rest where my mother lays RIP just off the Vale. Had chat with her then home.

Dougie had made a lovely display with flowers, balloons and posters so lovely to see. More smiles. A youtube afternoon with all the songs I could find with the word 'happy' in them.

Later had chinese meal.....thoroughly enjoyed.

Fell asleep on sofa at 9.30pm.....woke about 11, more chineses, bit of steroid induced retweeting and commenting re government on twitter, then back to sofa.

Updating here, feeling relaxed, and likely to get a good night's sleep later.Of course I'll have my 7 injections to do, plus another steroid day, and the infamous bowel and belly stuff to get through.

But hair will start growing then and health will improve.

Have order bell, should be here next week and I'll take it up when I go to see senior nurse for check up on results of bone scan I'll have to have to check re base line for osteoporosis.

Engraving will be....... "Everytime a bell rings, somone's had last chemo"
with my name as the donor.

One day I'll get round to sorting out my vast collection of wigs, hats and bras, probably donate the ones I dong't need and haven't used. Got far too many during my experimenting.

So a really good day, apart from Dougie having his arsey moment, packed him off to his place to watch the football and he came back suitable apologetic.

So all is well and back to HAPPY again.

Love to you all,


After last chemo I was absolutely zonked! It really floored me, was bedbound for first week, all side affects were intensified.

So exhausted I just had to sleep most of the time.

My muscles ache so much that after a minute of walking I'm literally wanting to lay on the pavement and go to sleep when outdoors.

Saw the senior nurse on Tuesday and she said it was all normal. My aching arms, legs and everything else.

Started radiotherapy today.....was well weird, like some sci-fi alien abduction test ha ha. Laying still for 15 minutes was bit of a chore for a fidget knickers like me....especially when I got an itch on my right shoulder blade and then when that stopped, another itch on my left nostril.

Told to expect more fatigue....yikes I can barely stay awake as it is!

I do house chores for about ten minutes then have to lay down for 20 to recover.

Food still strange.....have gone off so many things like chicken, meat in general and many things still don't have any taste. Time will improve that I'm told.

I have radiotherapy every day for three weeks except weekends.

My hair has started to baby fluff.....EXCITING!

So if you don't hear from me for a while you'll know I'm zonked out snoozing my frazzled brains away.

Love to you all.


Gave the bell to the nurses, they were so pleased with it, one took a photo to show the nurses on the surgery ward.

And I rang it in the waiting room, to the amusement of the other ladies, who being newbies didn't have a clue what it was all I told them they had to clap and cheer. Bit of fun.


And rang the bell!

By going to the radiotherapy unit everyday my legs got stronger and I can walk fairly normally now.

No major issues, just slight radiation burn that came on on the 13th session. (Was 15 sessions in all)

Not too tired but left arm still achey after picc removal.

Because I met the same people each day in the waiting room we all got along fabulousy chatting away. And it was great to see those who finished before me ringing the bell. When it was my turn I rang it and got cheers and hugs. One of the ladies who finishes in two weeks said she'd ring it too......and proceeded to ring it vigourously and for a long time.

I said to reception staff "the first ring was mine.......L****y rang it like a nutcase the second time". haha

Even though I've been quite positive all through this trip, last night I had a brief down moment with thinking "what if the cancer hasn't gone". But today am back to my usual positive self.

Will see Mr Lafi (breast surgeon) on the 7 June and I think I'll probably have a mammogram and maybe another round of scans. Then oncologist for check up on 28 June and in about 6-8 weeks the radiology doctor for a review.

But in the meantime I have free time and it's strange getting used to not having to catch a bus every day.

I'm eating normally and healthily, my weight is reducing gradually and the weather is lovely.......reasons to be glad.

Love to you all XXX


My check up with Mr Lafi was quick! He asked how I was and looked at breast site.

Said all is okay… mammos etc. My next check up and mammogram will be around November/December.

Booked caravan holiday in North Wales. Going on 22 May for three days. It's only about a 90min drive, and got a reduced price £119 for two of us. Cheap as chips. Looking forward to it.......especially the beach. ALLOWED TO SWIM AT LAST! The holiday site at Talacre has a pool and today I prepared my swimwear.

Have been sleeping a lot.....but today was a fairly normal active day. Got some chores and holiday clothes preparation done.

My radiated skin was very sore but now it's getting better. Daily care with Aquamax cream has helped a lot.

Now going to settle on sofa with coffee to watch Real Housewives of Melbourne. Some right strange women in that!

Love xxx


Well the holiday was absolute BLISS. Caravan spacious, clean and the site was really nice.

Second morning I was up with the larks and went for a walk to the beach. It was wonderful to touch the sand with my feet and I sat for a while on the deserted beach feeling great.

It wasn't until I 'd got halfway back to the caravan when I realized I was walking normally !!!!! No aches or pains and with a fair speedy step. Even on the inclines.

Had a lovely breakfast then hoiked Dougie back to the beach with me. We spent a few hours there.......well lathered in sun protection cream of course.

By then there were lots of families and it was so good to be out in the sunshine with happy people about.

Made me feel really healthy.

Another achievement......I drove back home. So truly on the back to normal road.


On 28 July went for my review appointment.......AND I'M NOW DISCHARGED from further treatment. I have the normal mammogram test in October.

Hair growing slowly....will update this soon.

Went to dentist this week to re-start the treatment I had to postpone because of the chemo. So big smiles in a few weeks when it's completed.

You can imagine how H A P P Y I am!

Love to you all XXX


It's a slow process, but my hair is growing. More on the back and sides than the top and front.

Using a concoction of olive and castor oil as it's reputed to help make hair stronger and grow a bit faster.


It's now just over 4 1/2 months since last chemo and here are some pics of my hair growth so far.

The front is growing much slower, which is quite usual I believe.

Last week I went in public minus wig......with just a baseball cap of course.....but it felt so fresh and cool in the hot weather.

Will be going away again on 12th to Cumbria so hope the weather is nice for that.

Got all sorted with small tv and a new laptop (well 2nd hand one haha), which is better than my tablet. So Dougie was settled with his (roll-my-eyes) tv soaps and I had my far superior (joke) entertainment too......earplugs made it sound like I was in some super duper cinema.

(btw I literally lived in a caravan when I did my travelling photography show yonks am well used to storing to perfection in small places.) Mind you 6'4" Dougie does take up a lot of space!

You will see my eyebrow tattoo has gone to zilch! Will get them done again elsewhere when I can be bothered to arrange an appointment.

Generally feel ok. Will do teeth update soon.

Love to you all XXXBought myself a little campervan and we had a little holiday in Cheshire. Peed with rain everyday! My home felt so H U G E when I got back.

Missing bit of update

Somehow a bit went missing.

Bought campervan and we went to Cheshire last week. Peed down everyday!
Mr M Lafi

Breast surgeon at the National Health hospital AINTREE UNIVERRSITY HOSPITAL, LIVERPOOL, GB A very compassionate man, who gives you plenty of time. On day of surgery for mastectomy and lymph node clearance, he was by my side. all the way. I gave him a hug in the preop processing bay......not my usual way of behaving. I think he liked it. He is reasurring and caring. Post op he visited me twice. Will be seeing him again for my post op follow up and what my next treatment will be. Also the adrenal situation.

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