Part Twenty Six point Two

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So. Did I?   Well I had never been so under trained. I had a five week taper where I did not run at all. But my new Headspaced more Mindful head was pretty calm. I tried a three mile run to decide on shoes after a very vigorous but effective sports massage with Jo. I also had some remedies from dear Suse.

I headed to the start with two speedy Harriers, Gildas who was aiming for Sub 3 and did so with 9 seconds to spare, spent an hour or more recovering in the St Johns Ambulance tent… Along with his brother in law Neil … At the Blue Start.

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It was a beautifully cool day. Off we went. One foot in front of the other. I spent the first few miles running with a young teacher from Kings Lynn called Jamie. Then at about mile 5 I stopped for a wee. I saw Amanda at the start, Ann Marie, Gordon, James, Dan   a couple of times, I watched the crowds. It’s so heart warming seeing people spot their runners, the joy, the smiles. I was relieved to get to 15 miles… Legs still okay, going very steady. Got to 18 miles, anything further than this was the longest I had run for two years and the furthest EVER with one bosom.

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The bestest, bestest moment was spotting the second tutu on a stick (copyright SK) and seeing Beth,Sian, Shade, Florence, Dawn, Suse, Phoebe and Ann Marie (again) . Bittersweet. So grateful to be able to run a marathon again after breast cancer, masectomy,lymph clearance and reconstruction; to break the curse of 13 marathons. But so very sad not to have Di with us all.

But  the joy of seeing everyone is evident in this great picture from Dawn. It was lovely too to have a drink later on with Dorothy, Di’s mum who came for the weekend. We raised a glass to Di.

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So I had done that marathon #14 with lots of support from my dear family and friends. Over £2,500 raised for Di’s charities thanks to your generosity.  I even got a finisher picture, first time ever.

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So. The other marathon. Breast cancer. Everyone who has it faces their own version of it. In the great scheme of things mine wasn’t that bad although there have been times I would absolutely not have agreed with that. The day I had the dressing off post masectomy and learnt I needed another operation so soon after, the endless aching. But in the last two weeks I have been back to Dr Cleator, the oncologist and to Mrs Lewis’s surgery and all is well. There was a little bonus scan on that lymph node that’s still there very prominent under my arm, there was talk of a fourth operation to remove it, but the big boss says it’s okay, reactive not pathological so we leave it be.

I have a mammogram in August, a bone density scan in February 2017 to see what the Letrozole is doing to my bones and I will see the oncologist in 2020 to see if I can come off the Letrozole. Fingers heavily crossed for that.

As I write this today a friend in Scotland is having her last chemo  before an op, a work colleague is almost through her 8 sessions.. There are just so many of us. One of the last cards Di wrote to me has on it “Carpe Dium” thats what we need to do. It’s what she did and those of us who knew her were lucky enough to fly on her skirt tails enjoying the ride with her.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope it may help some people in some way. It shows you can do things if you put your mind to it. If you want to donate to Di’s charities for my marathon effort please do. http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/susankennedy

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Part Twenty Six – To Run or Not To Run? That is the question.

imageSo. The beady eyed amongst you may have noticed in my last post three months ago, I talked about training for TWO marathons. Yes, it was a mad, mad notion, but 2016 I had decided was not going to pass marathon free like 2015 and I had my deferred place in Brighton, I had even convinced Queens Park legend, Dan, Dan the marathon man to run it with me, well about an hour faster but you get my drift. But then out of the blue – well out of the hat as it happens – I was given the Queens Park Harriers place at the Christmas dinner (see picture above of me head in hands whilst the room erupts with cheers!)

So for a few brief, mad moments I thought, why the hell not, I will do both !  “Run” Brighton and walk/saunter round London. The power of positive thinking.  I was a REALLY good patient and did not run for five weeks after the reconstruction operation. The new scar, under the new look bosom healed very well and quickly and I was soon back running. Maybe I ran a bit too much too soon in my over excitement. The op was behind me, the new breasticle was much less stretchy achey with the old inflator out. Things were looking up. Well one of them was….

But hang on, the post before last I promised you pictures of the Richmond Breast Cancer Care run which we all did  last year a week before my diagnosis… This year there was a very spooky change to the event, it was Halloween themed for the first time which was our dearest Di’s most favourite of events so we mustered an amazing gang of young and old, girls and boys (allowed for the first time) and swooped round Richmond looking positively ghoulish and ghastly. Some of the young managed to inject some glamour into their outfits … Take a look.

I think Di would have been very proud of us all.

So back to 2016 and the joy of running. Our first event is always Fred Hughes 10 in January running the roads round St Albans, it’s undulating and I love it. Some people call it hilly, but I prefer undulating. I missed Liz being there as well as a few other pals who couldn’t make it. So we set off, I had had an achey knee, nothing serious, classic ITB just a tight muscle but instead of a sensible slow steady run I made the mistake of running with a young woman, Phoebe, Dan, Dan’s daughter, until I realised my mistake and she ran on. To cut a long story short I had gone too fast, added to which myself and Amanda did a mad speedy last mile and as we turned into the finishing straight I also turned my ankle and hence my sore knee. Not ideal.  Monday morning I was literally hobbling with a crutch. Not a good day…

Shortly  afterwards I faced one of my fears and spoke at our Annual Conference at the end of the day, I was outwardly very calm, it was very shortly after dear Sir Terry Wogan died and I tried to channel his effortless relaxed style. Go me. Here I am with our Chair Sir William Wells handing out the prize to the top sales person.

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Forward fast FIVE WEEKS and only one tentative three mile shuffle I lined up along side James (eldest) and Beth (Di’s daughter) Freya, Phoebe, Shade and Florence (and Dan but he whooshed off super fast) at the Brighton Half Marathon. This was Beth, Phoebe and James first half marathon and much as I doubted my fitness I was not going to miss the start of this. I figured I could stop halfway back by the pier. However the slow, steady pace that more befitted my age and condition was doable and thanks to my pals I made it. We all did and raised more money for Di’s charities.

So apologies to those people looking for the breast cancer news and updates but in terms of that I am taking the tablets, passed my first year on Letrozole (hurrah) and have an oncologist appointment in April and a consultant appointment in May.

Meanwhile back at the training …. Or not… Given my knee survived Brighton two weeks later I decided to give the Finchley 20 a go. But being incredibly grown up, restrained and taking my own advice I only did three laps, 15 miles, slow and steady. Felt okay.

Two weeks later was a busy week, a good mate got married and being that she was a Queens Park Queen, with the inspiration of our figure head, Sian, we had a hen night with a twist, all adorned in purple, mauve, lilac or similar bridesmaids dresses (apart from the bride) we hit the West End. Not sure it knew what had hit it.

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Can you spot me? I am in heavy disguise.

So before I get back to running (yawn) a quick showbiz update. Mr Kennedy has been very busy, producing more brilliant radio shows, being killed in low budget films in cold corners of England, picking up another BBC Drama Radio Award for the series The Reluctant Persuaders and most recently being cast in a new drama series for ITV the Sunday evening Downton slot, but it’s top secret so I can’t tell you anything about it or who he is playing so you will have to make do with a picture of him and his latest award…. Mwah, mwah, darling ….

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After the 15 miles all was surprisingly good. The left knee felt good. So it seemed only sensible to try and up the miles the following weekend if there to be any chance of attempting a Spring marathon, so it was I came to be running around Regents Park three times on the morning of Dawn and Svens wedding and back and around and about Paddington Rec and Queens Park til the garmin bleeped 18 miles and my right shin went …. WTD (what the Devil).

Hmmm. It did hurt. What’s happening, my left elbow, my left knee, now my right shin. Is it just general decrepitude? Does the letrozole contribute in any way? Who knows. What I DO KNOW is that wearing very high heels that very same day to the Civic Centre and then back to the party to dance the night away senses cushioned by the anaesthetic effect of Prosecco REALLY did not help one bit. My shin has been agony since. As I type this one week on I have just had the quietest Easter weekend in my life. I have been resting and icing and resting. Today I was lucky enough to have an hour with Beryl the amazing osteopath. It’s feels a little eased. My thoughts of 20 miles next weekend then a 3 week taper to London are out of the question. It really is touch and go if I start.

I know most people are now probably shouting at their laptops or i pads going  “don’t be ridiculous, you’ve hardly trained” ( it’s true, I haven’t even averaged ONE training run a week) my body is showing its age but…. And it’s a big but. I really want to do it.  Not actually do it as in the physical doing of it but every thing it symbolises for me, for the close of a chapter, a marathon, a different kind of marathon, breast cancer done. Break the unlucky 13 marathon with my 14th.

More than this I want to do it for Diane. We all miss her still so very much. She was always there supporting us in many marathons, she stood by Big Ben with her mum Dorothy for two of my Londons and was at Brighton with Shade sorting out sunglasses and bubbles on the beach.  She was there with me at the start of this marathon, the different sort of marathon, holding my hand at Charing Cross late on Saturday night in October 2014, and now she has gone. I will do it for her, for her charities and for her memory. The London marathon 2016 is the day before the first anniversay of her death it will be my tribute to her God willing (whoever God is) I can get to the start line with workable limbs.

So in the next few days I will be setting up a fund raising page for Diane, our gorgeous, giggly, dependable, bendable friend. x

Part Twenty Five – The final op, Christmas and a few days in Suffolk

 

What has been going on? Work, winter (not really), worry. I really do like to worry, no actually I really wish I didn’t. I finally found a “Mindfulness” course and signed up. It’s a very expensive course to convey what is really an extremely simple concept. Having said that its not that simple to adopt. It takes a lot of practise and if you are really busy it takes time. I did a couple of sessions before the op. There are moments I felt like I was probably being filmed for a new “Harry and Paul” sketch show! The raisin bit. That.

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But let’s move on to the reconstruction operation. I was SO glad it was finally happening.
I was there at 7 am. Took an overnight bag, in case. Third time going through the pre op routine. Feeling more relaxed a) it is a much simpler operation  b) there is hope the stretchy Achey feeling of the inflator I have carried around for almost exactly a year will be lessened and c) I am taking citalopram so I have a little help.

We get called through. Say good bye to Gordon. Off to the waiting ward. I get put in the first bed! Hurrah, I am first on the list… Last year I was last. It’s a long time to wait, with nil by mouth for them to cut off your bosom. This time I have all the usual pre checks, blood pressure, stethoscope thing, blood tests, really lovely staff. The anaesthetist was a really pleasant woman, looked like she was wearing a wig. Basically I said, please don’t do the drugs from the mastectomy, copy the drugs from the lymph clearance operation and hopefully we will be fine. Next was ….

The registrar,  a very jolly woman, Violetta, and we have a laugh as she reads out the potential there is for the operation to go wrong, death, that sort of thing. I do discover to my horror and consternation that I will be having a drain!! No!!

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We have a brief discussion on matching boobs (I have opted NOT to have surgery to lift my left, healthy bosom. I just don’t want surgery that’s not essential, nor do I want fat “harvested” (sucked out with a large needle being pumped in and out of my thighs and stomach) and then injected round my implant. It’s a very personal decision and I know lots of women think I am mad not to take the chance for a boob job as it’s known. Our conversation drifts to the fact there is no nice way to say “droopy” or “saggy” bosoms. She was Polish so was interested in the language and if there was another word she could use. Sadly not. Then she goes off to get the implant.

Finally a visit from the top woman. Mrs Lewis and her felt tips. Some strange inking today, (see pics). We had a nice chat and then soon I was being wheeled into the ante theatre for the anaesthetic. This was quick and easy, the last words I remember was the woman anaesthetist saying “we will look after you”, comforting. Next thing I know I am in the recovery room. Not feeling too shabby at all. A brief spell of the shivers and I am back in the pre op room.

There was an amazing of lady still waiting for her operation. Poor thing had dementia and she really didn’t know what was going on but we had a laugh. She was 82 and having a masectomy. Part of me wondered why, having read Being Mortal. She was going to find the drains and all the post op stuff really hard and she didn’t seem to have much family. I gave her my front opening cotton shirt for after. I hope she is alright.

I was home by 4.30 me and my drain. Feeling pretty good. I forgot to mention this year I DID manage to do the St Neots half marathon, two days before the operation, so my fitness was much better than last year!

Recovery was good. I took care to rest and do my exercises. I also practised the mindfulness whilst I had plenty of time. Took two weeks in total off work with some working at home to avoid the crowded underground.

Suddenly it was Christmas and my new found delight at the end of this chapter was tarnished slightly by the development of severe pain in my GOOD arm … Bloody tennis elbow. Damn it. Plus side the elves worked a bit harder on Christmas Day.

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We had Christmas Day with my dear friends Colin and Davina, we are missing out on celebrating her 50th in New Zealand which is very sad. We also shared it with dear Diane’s family. She sent me a white feather two days before Christmas.

It’s been a rotten year one way or another so to  treat ourselves and J, B and T we hired a far too expensive house on the coast in Suffolk for some R, R and R. Rest, relaxation and revision for the poor students. It’s a heavenly spot and the person who would have loved it most of all has been with us in all our hearts.

So next it will be Part Twenty Six… I will add a 0.2 as this was the different marathon blog. In the next post I will have a check over the new breasticle and start training for two more ordinary marathons.

 

Part Twenty Four – No Op, No Trip and a Lump

I noticed two posts ago I promised anxiety, a wedding and a 21st and you only got a full on dose of anxiety – thats just what its like .. it takes over.  I do apologise.  We did go to a fantastic wedding of Gordon’s nephew Alex to the beautiful Aisha – we danced the night away – I was the old aunty who dances with all the young relatives at the reception.  Sorry Alex.

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The 21st was our dear Patricks, we had a very jolly evening in Caldo in Queens Park – with some dear friends and lovely young people.  Oh and Gordon’s dad turned 90!  Bless him  – we had a flying visit to see him in Edinburgh. So there – that’s the bit I missed.

Patch 21            boys and papa 90

Talking of missed, as you can see from the title of this post – No Op – I missed my op! Well I didn’t miss it, they postponed it, one week before I was due to have it done.  So I was suddenly in limbo – work was all prepped for me to be off for a few weeks, my mental mind was limbering up for the operation and then as I walked home from the tube one week before D Day I picked up a voice message from Charing Cross,  “your operation has been postponed from next Tuesday  and will now take place on November 17th.  You will get a letter confirming this. Thank you.”  That was it.

As I walked along Sidmouth Parade at first I was slightly incredulous, then I was really, really, cross, then I cried a little bit (sorry Sianee). But what can you do?  Its not urgent. Perhaps this time last year my mastectomy pushed some other poor person off the surgery list?  So day by day I got over it.  There were a couple of silver linings – I got to go to the “Hugo Survived 20 years from his Accident Party” in Cornwall which was lovely – I also channelled my anger into a park run on 17th October and smashed my pb from two and a half years ago from 24.53 to 23.24 that was great.

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There was another disappointment/ difficult decision which was very upsetting and I found really hard to deal with. Some of you know I was going to go to New Zealand with some very dear friends for about 3 weeks after Christmas – Gordon was not going to come for various reasons, but we were due to fly on December 27th.  I have been really struggling with my fear of flying and the thought of the journey, not only there and back but on small internal flights too, that coupled with my work load (which for reasons too long to go into here and really not terribly interesting) has shifted unusually to mean a very heavy schedule in January and the annual Sales Conference, that I am in charge of organising, for about 120 people being moved to February 3rd.  It was just all too much.

I had to tell two of my best friends I could not go. It was awful.  I felt I was letting them down.  I was sad for myself too.  It will be an amazing trip.  One of them is celebrating her 50th birthday there. I wont be there.  Very hard decision.  But I had to do it.

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So, no op, no trip and then this blooming lump. I did not tell many people about it, no point in worrying everyone all over again. It was weird it was all happening exactly a year after the diagnosis last October – but I felt it was not a scary lump, more a lump, lymphy lump.  But then as I had found out last year lumpy lymphy nodes can have cancer in them, so I thought it most sensible to check it out. I phoned the breast care nurse and she was lovely – I got to go into Charing Cross 4 days later and see a different consultant, mine was on holiday.

Gordon came with me. There was no waiting. Straight in.  Weirdly the same office, I was in the same chair, almost to the day.  Mr Gordon asked me a few questions (for that was his name).  He was a rather older gentleman and apparently Scottish, one of those Scots that sounds posher than me.

Soon I assumed the usual position, top off, on the bed, right arm up in the air, not so bad today but stretchy, achey, usual. Mr Gordon felt round the under arm and my side and uttered possibly the funniest remark I have heard in this whole business : “The lumps you can feel are your ribs” …….. REALLY???  Do you honestly think that I cant tell what is a lump or my ribs?  Ahem.  I said nothing as he then prodded a little more and went “oh… these two lumps here?” ..stop it….. “Yes I said”…. “Hmmm,” he said “doesn’t feel pathological”   (had a lovely vision of a crazy lump!)  So, good, he thinks its okay but he said I should get a scan given my history.

So four days later, back I went, up to the breast clinic. This time I was on my own. No one knew about it and Gordon was off in Scotland reading some poems.  I lay on the bed, in the position, as a kind woman did the scan thing – she seemed to take an age, going back over the area again and again with the gel-smeared-scanny thing.  Like when you have a baby, only not in your armpit. I lay there thinking – oh my goodness (not swearing) surely not? It cant be. Wondering if it was the done thing to ask??  In the end she said she thought it was fine – just a lymph node that was a bit swollen. But “given my history” (the new phrase) best to stick a needle in it and check. So just a little prick, an anaesthetic,  (must learn how to spell that). Then she took two samples with a thin needle – not the gun clicky thing like last year – less of a palaver and I was up and off.  Very quick.

Two days later, having asked if I could get a call the moment they knew the results, I heard from Addy. All is well.  Phew.

SO  … next time … the third and last operation? I do very much hope so.  Also a report on a witchy run, with many, many friends for Breast Cancer Care, but more importantly for Diane.

 

Part Twenty Three – Menopause, Madness and Medicine

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So in my last post I talked about top tips and touched on the anxiety thing. I love this cartoon which was brought to my attention by my sister in law Sally Anne.  The thing is that I have been anxious all my life, it’s not new, whether it’s genetic (I have sketchy stories of both grandmothers being of a nervous nature) or it’s been augmented by certain events in my life time like the boat with an engine on fire in a crocodile infested river in Borneo aged about 9, a midnight coach trip from Cotonu, Dahomey to Lagos, Nigeria one Christmas Eve after landing in the wrong place, drunken border guards putting the wind up a nervous 16 year old girl. There are just so many memories of anxiety and fear. (Sprinkled with good ones of course … ) I don’t know why, I have just had to live with it and been a bit of a scaredy cat, worrying about doing the right thing.

Therefore when the menopausal anxiety jumped in it made life quite tricky. Co-inciding with a brand new job in a totally new role, in a very different industry and the boys going off my anxiety hit new levels as the helpful hot sweats came in full force. Now female members of my family don’t despair, Granny and Aunty Penny did not suffer hot sweats at all.  To cut a long story short I found it so hard I felt so sorry for Gordon, James and Patrick having to live with me after a lot of soul searching and one false start I gave in and went on the HRT. Funny the phrase “gave in” but that’s how it felt.

Women are fantastic, they make the bestest of friends but sometimes (especially if you are mad) they can FEEL a little judgmental and with the menopause, strangely I found like breast feeding, women are quite rightly I suppose, very opinionated and seemingly judgmental. Any number of them have had hot sweats and dealt with them….  This is fantastic and I applaud any woman who can get on with whatever else  life is throwing at them as well as wake up constantly at night drenched in sweat, sit in meetings (almost entirely with men) trying to hide the beads of sweat suddenly breaking out on your forehead. This is a generalised opinion aimed at no one in particular and probably says a lot more about me than anyone else, I have just felt inadequate in breast feeding and dealing with menopause.  As the card implies below we all do a bit of judging, would be lying to say otherwise.

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So coping with the menopause, I tried for a long time but I couldn’t. I did black cohosh, menopause, special herbal drinks.  I went on HRT, it was not an easy decision. It helped immediately. I always remember with a smile the Deputy Head at QPCS (the boys secondary schoo) saying to me the summer after I started on HRT how much calmer I had been at the start of the Fun Run I used to organise. I laughed and told him it was the drugs!

I don’t know how long I would have stayed on, I would have tried to come off it after a bit more time but as soon as you have breast cancer that’s it. Bye, bye HRT. It’s a real bastard because you are coping with the idea you have cancer, you have lost a bosom, or bosoms and then you have all the menopausal symptoms back … On acid!! Because here’s the zinger.. The anti cancer drugs, in my case Letrozol, suck every last bit of oestrogen out of you so hot sweats, anxiety, achey joints they are back but worse!!

Here is my list of the worse possible things for hot sweats, what to avoid :

Alcohol, Hot Drinks, Cold Drinks, Hot Baths, Synthetic Material, Stressful Situations. I understand caffeine is bad but I don’t tend to drink coffee and only have the occasional tea now I am a green tea convert.

So it’s a bit shit. Every so often you think oh, I will have a glass of wine to relax … Au contraire Blackadder. No such luck.

To end on a happier note menopause and ageing bring also great joy as some of us lose the ability to worry about being cool and get to wear some fabulous outfits! See pictures. Cup half full.

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Next time back to Charing Cross for the final operation.

Part Twenty Two – One forgotten top tip and a film on right now that tells a story.

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You wait months for a new post and two come along at once.

Its just that there is a film out at the moment written and produced by Morwenna Banks an old friend and Absolutely comrade of Gordon’s. It’s called “Miss you Already” and it’s about two friends, played by Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore. It’s taken Wen over ten years to get it made and it’s based on some true life experience of hers and friends with Breast Cancer. I think it’s very well done. It’s a very difficult topic. It’s a good honest look at the reality of cancer whilst being an interesting look at the relationships of friends, husbands and children.

We got to walk up the Pink carpet with the paparazzi flashing bulbs around us … Mostly at Morwenna and Paloma Faith .. I took a selfie for the record. Fantastic work Wen, if you fancy a weepie do go and see it. A lot of people I spoke to after (I won’t name drop) found it very life affirming. One of my favourite bits was with the drains … See earlier post  for pictures.

One thing I failed to point out in my last post is I am lucky (when you first get diagnosed every time any one says you are lucky is very puzzling but ….) I am lucky that I had very low grade tumours, I  have had this invasive horrible surgery when I am in my early (okay mid…) fifties, not when I was in my twenties or thirties. And I was very lucky to have a younger brother who has worked in the pathology of breast cancer, he helped me ask the right questions.

That leads me to the top top tip I left off my last post… That is, if you have low grade tumours and/or small ones (tumours not breasts… ) please do ask about the endo-predict test or the oncotype test. In Liverpool you get it as a matter of course, in London you don’t but it doesn’t stop you asking or indeed paying for one. If it can save you from six rounds of chemotherapy that will increase the protection against recurrence by such a small percentage as to make it counter productive to your health, it’s surely worth persueing?

Next time anxiety, a wedding and a 21st birthday.

Part Twenty One – Top Ten Tips and Hints (this is only my point of view)

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So what would I pass on as useful knowledge to anyone going through a similar thing?  So difficult as every single case and person is so different and the cancers are so different but as a REAL generalisation and it’s very easy to say … Just try and be patient, it all takes time. To get used to the idea, to adjust if you have to come off HRT. The recovery from the ops. And it’s a fine balance with resting up and doing enough. I say this as someone who was so impatient, but I do feel no one really explained to me how long it all takes. Particularly after the lymph clearance operation, I only remember the registrar telling me it was a simple operation, easy for him to say. I may have not been at my most receptive….

Sunshine, friends,  good food and a bit of wine (I have say my early visit to the nutritionist at The Haven was maybe too early? It freaked me out all the things I was advised maybe bad for cancer, sugar, wine, even Kellogs Branflakes.. I may have been a bit deranged but it still feels now … Oh am I being healthy enough?)  Anyway … Who knows? No one really that’s the bugger. Is it diet, stress, genes?  The oncology psychiatrist they sent me to when I was a bit raving said they just don’t know. Anyway these jolly pics were taken in Portugal where I went with Sian and Florence for some rest and relaxation, fine wine and some treatments from her lovely Aunt Odile who is a healer. We stayed with her and her delightful partner Mize.

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Back to some tips. If you feel your recovery of movement is not good please make a song and dance and get some physio. Audette at St Mary’s was one of my real saviours of the NHS she was very plain talking but also had a great sense of humour we ended up having a real laugh about how sore and annoying my arm was. I did not expect that. She also gave me really useful exercises and did deep massage into my side, achey, but it helped. So do ask for physio.

if you can try not to be too thin! I am sure part of the sore and achey stuff is that there is no spare flesh and so my skin is very stretched .  I have been offered to have fat sucked out of my thighs and stomach to inject around the implant in my next op but I have declined. Just sounds too invasive… Sorry.

What else would I say? That’s about five things so far… Quick off topic picture of me and my Prime Minister, with his picture up in Shaftesbury Avenue. Showbiz, showbiz.

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Keep positive (if you can) and top tips from dear Sian who read the really big book on cancer from the Haven, green tea and meditation are headliners too. So I try to have a green tea at least once a day. I have also been doing “Headspace” an online meditation app thing with the fantastic Andy Puddlecombe. I can say it’s helped a lot, really good. Just in terms of a busy mad mind.

Keeping fit is very good and, believe it or not, I have been so lucky to get back to running. Even with achey bosom, armpit, I can run. I was amazed and chuffed to get round the St Albans half in June. Dear Liz did the 5 km, which frankly given what she’s been through is more impressive … I got round in my normal fashion by making other people’s ears bleed. As I had no pal to run with I preyed upon two young guys, one was complaining that he had not trained properly… It didn’t take me long (I know dear reader, surprising for me..) to tell them I had had cancer and my right boob removed. They took some comfort from this and towards the end they asked me to wait for them to cross the line .. With over a mile to go and a triumphant sprint on the cards I said I would see them on the line! Here I am near the finish line 2 hours 7 minutes since you ask. 😃

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I recommend a short break in the South of France with Sian and Shade, although quite honestly this was a weekend of missing Di. Shade did a swim in a cold pool AND got in a lake. We thought of Diane a lot. Thinking of how lucky you are to still be here is pretty high up the list in terms of positivity. The phrase ” what would Di do?” is high on our list. Live life to the full that’s for sure.

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Back to hints and tips. Colouring in …. Now I am verging on the anxiety side of the whole experience and how it has affected me. Both coming off the HRT and going on the Letrazol seriously sent my hot sweats and anxiety sky high. In my next blog I will talk about menopausal symptoms and anxiety…. From my point of view.

I leave you with a pic of one of my fave colouring in pages and two simple bits of advice if you are having surgery… A cotton mans shirt, short sleeved for the hospital after the operation/s a nice soft light one that buttons up the front and secondly ginger is good for nausea and/or mint. Good old ginger nuts helped me when I felt sick as a proverbial dog. (No jokes please)

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Next time anxiety and how it can affect you and we look forward to the third and final operation, coming soon in mid October.