"I've got the scars from tomorrow.."
Well this has been a busy week. Let's start with Monday. Which was Lymphodema Clinic day. I had no qualms going in to the meeting. I was sure that the heavy feeling in my arm, and the pain and the slight swelling, was no way Lymphodema. It was just post-op swelling and the massive scar settling down. Well.... I was wrong (again!). The nurse looked at it and said straight away "Is your arm heavy? Is it painful?"We will measure it" and I knew then that I was afflicted.
I was told by Warrior Prince when I had full clearance that I had a risk of developing it, but it was probably unlikely. He said only 10-15% of women have a problem. Well, WRONG mate! If you weren't such a nice man I would send Oli Sykes round to your house to shout at you! (I can just picture him shouting "THIS IS SEMPITERNAL. " Perhaps he can change it to "THIS IS LYMPHODEMA" ? It has a good ring to it!)
But you're too nice. And its not your fault. But now I am buggered. As this is a lifelong condition now that I have now developed - it ain't going away. I will have to manage it somehow. So I have a nice brown compression sleeve to wear . BUT I AM NOT WEARING IT TO READING!!!!!!!!! And I have antibiotics. And I have to massage the arm everyday too. And no scratches or cuts or grazes or burns - or else Mass Panic - complete dread! I can imagine what will happen. The men will come out in their biohazard suits, and close the road off, and helicopters will hover overheard saying "Move away!", rather like managing a zombie swarm or something. Bah. Crap, crap crap. So as you can guess Monday was fun.
And then I had to have more blood tests on Tuesday for the Thyroid Clinic as they lost them again! So rush, rush, rush again. And more poking and prodding with dinky needles. Pants! And then I had to to go to the GP. When we started talking about my history, his eyes swelled up like saucers. He kept saying "Stop. Hang on. Let me write this down" and he looked more and more nervous. He looked so worried I thought he might suddenly combust or something. I felt like saying "Calm down mate, you'll give yourself a heart attack." And all I really wanted was some advice on my big toe, which appears to be dying post-chemo. But he had no advice to give me. So the big toe will just have to continue to wither away.
And Wednesday was Thyroid Clinic. And I saw the lady pick up my file. It looked like some ancient tome from a horror film. It has grown substantially since the last time I saw it. And she said "Wooah, a lot going on with you, isn't there!" and I nodded sagely, saying "Yep". And my thyroid is all stable. So that is bloody brilliant. And I can slowly start to wean myself off the thyroid drug, as I need to come off it by Christmas and then go cold turkey and hope the thyroid behaves itself. And she said dryly that with my luck I should do the lottery because I am surely due some good luck! I think she might be right there.
And Friday I rang up the BCN hotline again. I am struggling with the menopausal side effects. I try not to moan and just get on with it but they are getting bloody ridiculous now. And the headaches are gettting worse which is a worry. Sometimes its like a supernova of pain explodes in my head. So I have to go back up to the clinic again. And I am going to be referred for an MRI brain scan. I googled Tamoxifen side-effects which does inlcude headaches (there are too many to mention), so the nurse agreed with the doctor that I should come off them for 4 weeks to see if that makes a difference. Let's hope so. I am sure I am wasting everyone's time again. What a shmuck I will look when they say there is nothing wrong. The last brain scan was fine and that was only 6 months ago. I suppose at least I am getting my money's worth.
And next week I am back to East Grinstead to see Dr D'Arcy. And we can talk tattoos hopefully at this meeting. Which will be rather fun!