I have my op tomorrow. I’m ready for it. In fact I wish it were happening tonight. I want to be on the other side of this. I want this strange lump that seemed to suddenly appear in my breast 3 months ago (although goodness knows how long it was actually there) to be gone. I want to know whether there’s anything in my lymph nodes. I want to start chemotherapy so that I know I’m that much further on in the process. I want I want I want. Nil by mouth from midnight so I’m having some toast right now. I know how to live. And I do want to live. That’s what all this is about.
Had a rotten day. Not so much the day actually, more that I just haven’t felt well. I woke through the night with heartburn and a terrible headache. Took some tablets and eventually fell asleep but when I woke again I felt dizzy and out of sorts. I worked most of the morning on my AWS Dev Cert course but felt crap. I just wanted to sleep but my RLS/leg spasms won’t let me sleep if I haven’t taken my Pramipexole tablets 2 hours beforehand. Basically I have to plan for when I might need to take a nap. I take these tablets every day at about 7pm to get me ready for bed. They failed me last night though – my RLS was bad until I took an extra tablet.
Anyway I ploughed through the day but by 4pm I was counting the hours until bedtime. I did get a lot of things done through the day. though As well as the AWS stuff I managed to do some of my Deep Learning course (and understand it!). I ordered our groceries. I listened to daughter play the guitar and brainstormed song chord ideas with her. And finally I watched Strictly Come Dancing. I’m now in bed ready to switch off the laptop and go to sleep. Husband is downstairs probably playing Fifa18. He sleeps on the sofa at the moment because (a)his snoring/breathing keeps me away (b)our dog Henry wants to likes to play at 2 in the morning. It’s a crazy old life right now.
Also I’ve started panicking that I won’t wake up from the anaesthetic on Monday or if I do my brain will have been starved of oxygen through some horrendous mishap linked to the chest pain I’ve had since August and that’ll be the end of the me that sits here typing this. Happy thoughts. I know I need to be positive and stop thinking such awful thoughts. It’s hard though. And I know husband is thinking similar things. He is also worrying abut the Swans though and their appalling run of losses. Poor husband. What with me, the Swans and daughter’s expensive Christmas wish list he has a lot on his mind.
So it was confirmed today – I’ll have the operation Monday. I’m so relieved that finally something is happening. The consultant’s receptionist said she felt really bad for me as I’ve had to wait so long while all these other tests have been carried out. I’m just happy now that finally something is happening. I’m nil by mouth from midnight Sunday apart from water up to 7am (but not much I don’t think). I now want to hide in a bubble until Monday to make sure I don’t get a cold. I should be in and out in one day provided it all goes ok (fingers crossed). So let’s hope that Monday night sees me back home watching the Walking Dead (possibly feeling like the Walking Dead too) knowing that at least one part of this journey is complete.
Had the biopsy results today (after over an hour wait at the hospital made worse by the fact we arrived ridiculously early as I have a phobia about being late). All clear in the non tumor breast tissue – no signs of any abnormality – which is good news. So we are back on track for Plan A, i.e. wide lump excision, biopsy of sentinel node, chemo, herceptin & radiotherapy and …drum roll… they are hoping to do the operation this coming Monday. So three days time! Whoohoo. They will confirm tomorrow as it seems …reverse drum roll …. I’ve not been added to the surgery list yet, I should have been but might not have been because they were waiting for these results, so they are going to talk to the people that schedule this stuff and clarify it all and then email me tomorrow. Apparently the surgery list has space so really hoping they sort it all outin the morning and let me know that it’s all on for Monday. It does mean though that I’ve left my flu vaccination too late. Was meant to be tomorrow afternoon but as it can give cold like symptoms it’s too near the surgery I think so I’m going to rearrange for week after next – basically as soon as I can after surgery and before chemo (which I assume is a good few weeks after surgery anyway).
So I think tmorrow I’m going to be obsessively checking my emails all day until I hear from the hospital. I go from one anxious waiting game to the next. But as long as there’s forward momentum I’ll take that I guess.
Today I didn’t do anything that I was meant to do. I should have been spending time studying AWS and Java but instead I was reading all about computer generated art and neural network style transfer – basically merging one picture with the style of another. I pulled some stuff off Github and tried to run it on the Mac but ran into some problems. I then installed it on a Ubuntu VM but fell at the last hurdle with memory issues. This all took up far too much my time. Still though it got me working in the terminal and looking up various commands so it wasn’t completely unrelated to things I should be doing.
Anyway this is one example of what I ended up – I combined a picture of a lighthouse with the style of Albert Gleizes:-
I really like it.
As you can see I’m trying to distract myself from tomorrow. I don’t know what to expect. I’ve had the usual pain in my chest all day (this started back in August) and I’m breathless when I walk around. I fear lung mets but it could just as well be anxiety and costochondritis. I think I need to stop thinking about it and go make some more digital art.
I was meant to be having my stereotactic biopsy results today. The appointment was at 11.30am. However, at 9.30am my breast care nurse rang and said only some of the results have been released by the pathologist. She said he was still working on the rest. She then added she didn’t want me to think there was anything wrong, just that the pathologist hadn’t finished, there had been a backlog etc. I couldn’t help it but some of my frustration showed. I said, “I’ve been waiting so long.” She said, “I know, but it’s important we don’t rush this, it will determine the surgery you have and we don’t want him to make a mistake.” I said I understood that and could she tell me the results that had been released. She said, “The results he has released so far are benign”. She said it slowly and carefully as if she didn’t want me to draw any conclusions from this. I can’t help but think the reason he hasn’t finished is that all the samples (they took a lot) have had the same tests and some have came back benign but others are not quite as clear cut, may not be benign, and are having more tests run on them. That doesn’t mean they aren’t also benign of course but they don’t know yet. Of course I could be completely wrong – maybe the pathologist did one sample then forgot about the rest until he had the call this morning! I also asked her if there was any news on the operation date, she said it’s been provisionally booked for next week but they won’t release the slot until all the results are in. She told me she’d rearrange my appointment for the results for this Thurday and rang me later with the time. In that conversation she said the consultant has made sure the pathologist knows I have an appointment Thursday so the results need to be in by then and she said, “Then we’ll see what’s going on.” It’s so easy to over analyse everything she said in the two conversations. I know I just need to dig in, be patient for Thursday, be thankful that at least one sample was benign and hope that the op does indeed happen next week. Positive thinking.
I’ve had a more productive day today. Yesterday I sorted out some of the courses I wanted to try and work on while I’m off from work and today I used Todoist to sort out a workable schedule and then I set to work. I did some of my A Cloud Guru AWS Developer course first then worked through some of a Udemy Java course that I just bought. It felt good to be doing stuff like this. I felt a bit more like me again. I then got my work laptop down, logged on and sorted through my inbox – getting rid of most emails but filing away stuff I’ll want to read when I’m back in work. And it was good to be thinking that way – when I’m back in work. I realised that the last four weeks I’ve been thinking and acting as if it was all over on the work side, as if I’d never be up to going back. But that’s no way to be thinking or acting. I love working in software engineering and while I’ve still got lots to learn it was a dream come true for me getting my job there and I’m not ready to give up. I want to use the time I’m off to upskill as much as possible whenever I feel up to it so that when I’m back in I’m more than ready for this job. I started my role feeling under the weather and often it all felt like an up hill struggle. I’m hoping when I go back I’ll be fighting fit and more than ready to seize the day. I haven’t had this frame of mind for a long time so glad to have it visit me today! Of course my chest still feels like I’ve been impaled and I don’t know what news the consultant will give me tomorrow but I’m feeling a little more like myself today and I’m very grateful for that.