Final post from me on this one!

Hi,

Gosh it’s been nearly 2 months since I wrote on this blog!  It just shows that I haven’t really needed it.  I have found this very cathartic and helped me to move forward in so many ways.

I’ve made the decision that I’m not starting my life breast free anymore, I’m moving on without my breasts and it’s okay.

I am going to start a new blog about how I’m moving on and all the good and positive things that are happening in my life.  I need to leave this one here now.  If I have reconstruction then all that can be part of my new cancer free life.

So that’s all folks and I will post the new blog address in case anyone would like a read!

Lots of love,

Viv xxxxx

 

 

I’ve hit my goal!

Whoop!  I’m so happy this evening!  My Christmas goal was to lose 8lbs by the big day and I’ve smashed it!  As of today I’ve lost 10 3/4lbs.  I reckon I can easily hit a stone by then.  I will be so so happy.  I am feeling so much healthier and happier already.

Having said that, I’ve been feeling a bit rubbish this week.  I think I’ve tried to do too much and picked up a bit of a weird bug. I was so tired by Wednesday evening having driven a school trip up to Gatwick airport and then come back. Luckily my son came with me so at least I had company!  I just can’t do these things any more.  I’m not going to volunteer again.  It’s not that I mind at all but I just get so tired doing stuff.  I think it’s time to accept that I’m just not up to mega busy days like I used to be.

When I think of the trauma my poor old body has been through these last few years, it’s hardly surprising that it doesn’t want to play ball anymore. It’s not necessarily just the cancer stuff but my lymphoedema arm was killing me after driving and throbbed much of Wednesday evening.  I came home from work early on Thursday and slept pretty much all the afternoon and all day Friday.  I feel much much better now and am hoping to get a run in tomorrow.

The couch to 5K plan is suiting me but I have missed 2 runs in week 2 so I shall start week 2 again on Monday.  I don’t think it’ll do any harm.  I’m not in any hurry to be a marathon runner so slow and steady will be good. I am really enjoying it so hoping to get out tomorrow if it’s not too windy and rainy or if it is, I shall visit the gym!!!!

I’m feeling that something is going right diet wise at the moment.  I weighed in this morning and lost another 2 1/4lbs!  That seems to be the standard at the moment which is fab!  2lbs a week is perfect and a very sensible way to lose!  I’m not slating Slimming World but I can’t work something out at all.  If food is ‘free’ as in you can eat as much of it as you want, how can you lose weight?  I have found that having 1400 calories is more than enough in a day!  I’m eating different foods now and really enjoying the variety I’m consuming.  For example the syn value of an avocado is about 9 out of the 15 you’re allowed and yet it’s only 95 calories so if I want it I can have it!!!!  I never got this way not knowing when to stop eating so I’m feeling a bit more in control.

I’m excited for the coming weeks so I will report my next weigh in!!!!

Lots of love,

Viv xxxxx

 

Didn’t see that one coming!

It’s amazing what a month can bring!!!!  I am really happy with how things are going at the moment.  My foobs have been making me feel really good! I was really scared going to work with them in.  I’m so not used to having them, it’s a bizarre feeling looking down and seeing humps!  They do make me feel better and disguise the belly too.  They have gone down really well at work and everyone has been really supportive.  I’m still not convinced I don’t want recon.  That thought has never left my mind really so I’ll never say never.

The other massive thing is that I have pulled away from Slimming World. I have been associated with slimming clubs all my life, for as long as I can remember anyway.  I have been gaining weight again rather than losing it lately so I sat and had a really long hard think about what I was doing.  I was looking at BMIs and things and came across the NHS Choices website. It’s basically a calorie counting plan.  I eat 1400 calories a day and they suggested doing the Couch to 5K running plan.  I began this this week and I have now completed one week out of 9!  It’s been quite difficult finding the time and I’m tired but I guess if we want something enough we have to find the time.  I will have to be careful because I’ve never really been able to run before.  I have problems with my back after running but even though it hurt this morning, I pushed myself and it helped the pain doing it, so that was strange!!!!   I will keep going as long as my knees hold up and I’ve lost 7 1/2lbs in the last 2 1/2 weeks so I’m really pleased.

Doing the calorie counting I feel like I have more choice.  I’m eating pittas, avocados and hummus.  Not massively exciting but for so many years they have been a no no!  My other favourite thing is fillet steak but I only have that as a treat!  It’s too expensive to be able to have it too often but on a night when we would have easily spent £20 on a take-away, I can justify it!

Life is good right now and I’m not out of the realms of having reconstruction yet! It’s never left my mind to be honest but I think I have to not overthink it and go with the flow. I have a friend who has just had one boob done and she looks amazing but she has been back in hospital this week for a week due to needing a drain back in! So difficult to know what to do! Do you leave well alone and get on with life or will I never know unless I go for it! Who knows what the future will bring. Concentrating on weight loss and a healthy lifestyle is enough for me right now to be honest!

I will be in the gym tomorrow night to start week 2 of couch to 5k, I hope my knees and my back can cope!!!!

Until next time!

Lots of love,
Viv xxxxx

Tits in a bag!

That’s what I’ve been up to on my week off!  I will explain!

I have decided to give the old foobs another go!  This breast cancer/mastectomy lark is a real game of many parts.  I remember way back when wondering when it would all be ‘over’.  The truth is and the conclusion that I have come to is that it’s actually never going to be ‘over’.  It’s a part of me now and I am slowly accepting that.  You have to go on this journey through your feelings and how various bits affect you.  I have never been a fan of the foobs.  (For those who don’t know, this is the false boobs you are given by the prosthetics nurse or indeed knitted knockers or any other kind of false breast form!!!).

I have got special bras that cost a bloody fortune but I’ve never really felt comfy in them.  I went to Marks and Spencers with my lovely friend and I tried on all manner of styles and cup sizes!  I managed to find 2 that I really liked so I made the purchase.  So the tits in a bag title was just that!  I stuck my silicone foobs in a Tesco bag and off we went!  You can’t make it up sometimes, you really can’t.  I think the poor woman in M&S thought I was a bit nuts. I forget sometimes how much my lymphoedema gets in the way too.  I can’t reach up too many times or my arm feels painful.  Also carrying heavyish bags makes my arm hurt.  It does annoy me but it’s a small price to pay for being here!

I have ended up with my boobs under my chin before now when wearing the really light ones because when you have had a double mastectomy, there is nothing to keep a bra down.  It’s all good though and I was really happy with the silicone ones. It’s just the putting them in every day and feeling all day as if I have to check they are still in.  First world problems really but it’s a weird feeling thinking your silicone tit could make an appearance at any moment.  I road tested them at work yesterday and the ladies in our office thought they were great and looked very natural and perky.  The big test was going out with my Dad last night to his yacht club!  I was very nervous but it was okay.  The restaurant manager liked them and everyone had a squish……….they are quite fascinating if you’ve never seen them before!!!!!  Haha!  I think I am going to look into getting some others but one thing at a time.  The scary thing is going to work on Monday with all the boys in school.  I doubt they will notice one way or another but it’ll be like going in with a new hair do, wondering if anyone will notice!  We shall see but they do make me feel better so I shall give it a really good go!

I am back to Slimming World properly again now!  I’ve buggered about with it and now I’m setting myself some small goals and challenges.  The 2 challenges before Christmas are to lose 8lbs by then and also to eat no chocolate before then either!  The chocolate thing is easy because once I commit to something then that’s it.  I signed an agreement with a friend and they are going to kick my ass when I’m bad and keep checking in and I have agreed to try and lose a whole 6 stone in one year.  While I am not going to beat myself up if I don’t (it’s a loose agreement), it can be done as one of my amazing friends has proved.  I need to commit to doing this for myself and not for anyone else.  It’s a funny old game this weight loss business because really if I’m honest, it’s going to be something that I have to do all my life, not just for a year.  As I have proved to myself before, I can lose it and gain it all back in a fairly short space of time!  It’s a lifetime change.  I’ll never be able to eat what I want, it’s as simple as that!  I went to aqua fit which was hilarious and also to the gym once this week too!  I’ve just got to start shifting my butt!!!!!

11077866_10153286729958287_8035221925840905142_n

I want to eat for good health and that’s what I’m focussing on the most.  I’m trying to cut out as much sugar as much as possible and actually saying no chocolate cuts out most of the sugar I consume.  There is still sugar in cereal bars and that kind of stuff but at least it’s not so tempting as a bar of fruit and nut……….oh gosh I’m dribbling!

I’m thankful that pinktober is over too.  Whilst I don’t feel much about it either way, I do feel that there is discussion on every turn about breast cancer and sometimes you just don’t want it to be on every turn. Facebook has been full of it but having said that, it’s all been extremely tasteful and useful.  Showing your bra strap and all that jazz isn’t really helpful but some of the stuff has been awesome.  I wrote a bit for Annabel’s Angels and they put it on their public page and apparently it had over 4000 views.  Amazing.  If it helps one person, I would be so happy.  It brings people together that are stuck in the cancer world and that can only be a good thing!!!!

So that’s it from me for now!  I will let you know how the new boobs go down at work and fingers crossed I will have the guts to go for it!!!!!

Lots of love,

Viv xxxxx

Just when you thought it was safe…..

to go back in the water, literally!  I start to get pain under my right arm where I’ve had my surgery!  I was 4 weeks down the line so I thought, what could possibly go wrong!!!!!  About 2 weeks after the op, I could still feel a little stitch sticking out the end of the wound but thought nothing of it as they are dissolvable stitches, so I just left it!  By about week 4 the end of the scar became a big lump, a very painful lump.  I then started to feel unwell and then had a massive red patch appear on my belly!  I felt it was dejavu! Last time I had an infection it was back in hospital for 10 days on IV antibiotics.  Nooooooo said I!  So I rang my lovely breast care nurses and left a message and got promptly on to the GP.  I managed to get an appointment with the nurse practitioner who had a look and gave me a course of fluclox antibiotics.  These were the ones I had last time so I knew they would be the right ones.  I arranged to see the breast care nurse on the Friday for her to check me over before the weekend.  I had been feeling really crap all week and by the Wednesday I gave up and went home from work!  So on the Friday I saw a lovely breast care nurse (who I hadn’t seen for over 2 years) and she said that all looked okay and to go back on the Tuesday if I needed to.  Anyway the long and the short of it is that the antibiotics worked, I felt better by the weekend and now all is well.

That’s it!  Never again am I to go under the surgeons knife.  Not unless it’s life threatening.  I have just had enough!  I think I really did underestimate how much of a toll this last final thing was going to take on me. I can move forward now and get a grip and get on with life.

So I guess the next thing for me is to lose some more weight.  I have gained nearly a stone in the last 5 months which is ridiculous.  I can’t seem to do more than one thing at a time.  If there is something else going on, such as the surgery, my brain can’t seem to cope with still eating healthily at the same time. I can concentrate on doing 2 things at once but I need to reprogramme myself that just because I’m thinking about something else, I can do the food thing at the same time!  I joined the gym about 3 weeks ago and I’ve not been yet because……….well I don’t know why I haven’t, probably because I’m a lazy arse!  Once I start to go again, it’ll be fine but I really do need to just do it!

It’s half term this week and although I have some work commitments 3 days, I am going to do something this week!  The plan is to do a healthy shop today, cook some meals for the freezer, make healthy food choices this week and organize my fridge/freezer to accommodate the above!  Fingers crossed that will kick start me into something good!  I gained another 2lbs at fat club this week and it made me really angry with myself because I know I can do it!  With christmas only around the corner, it can be done!

I’m going to write another post shortly as I haven’t finished yet so watch this space!

Lots of love,

Viv xxxxx

I’m giving up hospitals!!!!

Oh gosh where to start for the last few days!

I never factored getting the cold/fluey thing 4 days before surgery!  That’s what happens when you share an office space with 354 sneezing teenage boys.  Each one I spoke to the week previous to my surgery was coughing over me.  I made them alcohol their hands every time they came near me!  Poor things. Unfortunately it didn’t work because on Thursday night my throat was feeling distinctly cold like!!!!  During the day on Friday at work, I felt pretty dreadful and spent the whole day rushing around trying to get everything sorted so they would cope without me for at least a week at work. Haha I’m sure they will!

After coming home on Friday, I stocked up at Tesco on every cold and flu remedy I could possibly find.  In fact £34 worth so not too shabby!  I started to take it all and by Sunday I was starting to feel moderately human again.  I was panicking though that this thing was going to my chest and that would be game over as far as the op wwas concerned.  By Monday things had improved even further and with no sign of it going on to my chest, I decided to go for it on Turesday.  I wasn’t due in until the afternoon so that gave me even more time to steam my nose and chest!!!!

Here is the before pics, I’ll post some after pics when you can see the results better.

Nub Angel wing

I got into the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.  It was busy and dusty due to building work but it was okay.  All the ladies in the waiting room were on good form and we had a bit of a laugh.  I concentrated my efforts on a sweet lady who had never had an op before and kept trying to run away.  I chatted to her and made her laugh until they were ready to take her for her gallbladder op.  I saw the nurse, surgeon and anaesthetist and they were all happy with how I was so it was all systems go!  I did mention to the anaesthetist that I was on the tail end of a cold, but he said that so long as I could breathe and felt well, there would be no problem.

I had felt completely up together for all this time but as soon as I went into the anaesthetic room my I started to feel bloody terrified.  I know that I have no veins.  I didn’t have chemo or rads but I think that when I had my infection after my mastectomy, they couldn’t get cannulas to stay viable on my left arm and because of the lymphoedema, the left arm is the only option.  It’s either that or my feet.  I ended up having most of my drips and stuff in my feet after my mastectomy.  The aneathetist went for the first go at my hand and said that my veins were “challenging” so he would have to have another go!  This was the point were I completely lost the plot!  I started to cry and said that I wanted to go home and this was all for vanity I didn’t need to have it done.  I was really really scared and felt so distressed I was hyperventilating.  The consultant had already been in and drawn on me again and I think she knew I was scared as she barely spoke to me.  In the end they had to give me gas to knock me out because I just couldn’t  cope with the pain in my hand and also I kept having really bad flashbacks from the last time I was there.  My arm ended up black and blue last time because they had to have so many goes, so to be honest I was glad to go off to sleep before they put me through anything else.

I woke up about an hour later feeling okay and not in too much pain which was good.  I woke up quite quickly and the nurse did say she was impressed by my wake up skills!  That didn’t last long though as I had a piece of toast and a cup of tea and then Sylvia came to get me.  I don’t actually remember going home. The first thing I properly remember is eating egg and chips that Matty had made me!  I’ve never been a big one for morphine but they did give me some to come home with.  I was quite glad of it for that evening and the next day.  The pain was excruciating under my arm pit and still is the most painful place moving around.

Since the op I’ve been feeling quite strange.  One part of me is excited that I now have had the surgery I wanted and I’m going to get the body I want.  With that I mean I can lose weight and be more of an athletic shape rather than with boobs.  The other part of me is sad that that is it for my reconstruction plans for the foreseeable future.  Whilst I would never say never, I have now been through more than enough to last a life time and if I never have to see that hospital again it would be too soon.  I couldn’t go through that major surgery just to have mounds, because that’s all they are.  I would be happier once I have lost the weight to have some smaller prosthetics to wear on special occasions.  I will start to look into that once I get closer to where I want to be.

I have found the whole experience of the last week quite a shock to my system.  I didn’t expect the incisions to be so massive and so painful.  I’ve spent quite a lot of time just upset, no explanation, just upset!  So that coupled with a really bad cold that’s now moved to my chest, it’s been hard work.  Thank goodness I have such wonderful family and friends.  I couldn’t have done any of it without them.  I’ve had lunch of wheels and flowers brought and just been loved beyond all I could ask for.

I have to regain my confidence too because with every surgery I have had, I get the confidence knocked out of me.  I need to get a bit with it and get out for a few walks this week and not be so anxious.  My shoulder is doing much better and I’m looking forward to seeing the physio this week so I can show her my progress. Then I will join the gym and get back to it.

11951845_617300781746544_6849090564535707760_n

So I guess now this blog is going to be mainly about my life flat and fabulous and I hope that I can focus more on clothes and where I am at to get my body where I would like it to be.  I feel like I want to cherish it more and look after it after all it’s done for me.  I don’t blame my body for the cancer and everything, I’m utterly convinced that what happened certainly wasn’t helped by my lifestyle and all the years of drinking and eating crap food.  This is a new dawn and a new era (I have many of those!!!!).  So much is going to be happening with the kids this year, preparing for university and sorting their next challenges out.  It’s scary for all of us really!

The biggest thing I need to tell myself and have it on repeat, is that I am enough!  I don’t have to be a crazy, amazing superwoman.  I need to be happy and enjoy being.  That’s enough to work on on it’s own!!!!

sunshine-quote

Here’s looking forward.

Lots of love,

Viv xxxxx

Nip and Tuck!

Hi, another long gap between posts. Such a lot has happened!

We had a lovely holiday in Tenerife.  Seems like a lifetime ago now!  We got back from our holiday at 2.30am and I was in work by 9am the next day, then I never really left after that!  I’ve worked my socks off for the last few weeks and I’ve loved most of it!  I’ve learnt so much about the timetables for the kids and how it all works.  It’s awesome, another string to my bow.  I love learning new stuff and anything new is always exciting.

I went to see my breast surgeon on the 17th August to ask about scar revision surgery.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long while.  It’s taken nearly 14 months to just get the appointment. Every time I asked about it nothing happened so in the end I rang up and got a bit firm.  They sent the appointment really quickly!  I asked about having my dog ear and fatty bit on my chest removed and she agreed without argument.  She said she could do a bit of liposuction on my chest but I didn’t like the sound of that so she is going to cut it and remove any fat from there!  I am very concave on my right hand side where the implant that was in there got capsulated and she had to take muscle out when she removed the implant.  I think there may be a possibility of getting some fat pumped in but that’s another op I reckon! I will talk to the surgeon about this.  I am seeing her on Thursday of this week to sign a consent form so I will ask her then.

Weight wise, it’s not been going very well!  Haha!  I have managed to gain 9.5lbs in 4 weeks.  I gained 6.5lbs over my holiday, there was far too many yummy puddings and then for the following couple of weeks I just seemed to lose the plot!  I’ve been a lot better this week so fingers crossed!  I’ve had a complete restart with my slimming world on line graph and stuff!  I am going to keep my progress in the class but treating it as a fresh one.  I am going to ask for a new book this week to start complete and utter this week.  I’m in the right frame of mind and I shopped very mindfully this week too!  I find that a planned week is a successful week so fingers crossed.

I have been having physio and hydrotherapy on my shoulder.  It doesn’t seem to have done much good so I am going to see the doctor on the 22nd for a medication review so I am going to ask for a referral to the orthopaedic surgeon to be manipulated under anaesthetic. The success rate is quite good for a frozen shoulder so if I can save myself a year of pain, I’ll go for it!  Whether they will agree with this or not is another matter but it’s worth the discussion.

My kids did a great job with their exam results and they are now looking at universities for next year.  Our travels will take us to Plymouth and Essex Unis over the next few weeks so that’s exciting.  I just really really hope that I don’t have the boys too far apart!  I can see one at one side of the country and one at the other. I won’t know which way to turn!

I will write again after my surgery!  I’m sure all will be well and I will end up with a lovely flat chest and I can get on with my life!

Lots of love,

Viv xxxxx