Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hostage to your own health


Monday brought with it an appointment with the breast surgeon. Professor Mokbel had requested a check up. It's been three months and counting since the lumpectomy and he just wanted to have a prod, or clinical exam as it's technically known, and see whether everything was feeling normal now that the scar tissue from the op has softened up a bit.

He very sweetly said my boobs were actually extremely soft. That's a good thing healthwise (lumps bad, soft good) but it also felt like something I could be quite proud of on a personal level. I mean, nooone wants pointy hard boobs do they?

We also talked about radiotherapy and what would come after. I'd sort of already had part of these conversations with my oncologist, Dr Alison Jones, as well, but as they both seemed to be saying the same thing it was reassuring to discuss it all again.

Two more treatments of chemo, finishing up the cycle of the last treatment by the first week of September. Kick off with six weeks of radiotherapy appointments, once a day, every day (bar weekends) at the same time each day.

Did I want the appointments at Parkside, a hospital in Wimbledon, or in central London? Central London, please. I explained my plan to cycle to and from the hospital. He looked impressed. Or disbelieving - can't be sure which. Either way, even if I had a 9am appointment at the Wimbledon location, it would still be less convenient than the central London mid-morning or late afternoon cycling plan. And I would probably fail to take the pushbike and therefore still be the size of a house come November.

And then the good news. Post-rads, apparently I am not scheduled for a mammogram until April next year. I can have the follow up ultrasound whenever I want to schedule it - November, December, whenever. But the mammogram is a fixed, yearly appointment every year for as long as I breathe. Which sounds tough but actually I had been led to believe that I would initially be required for check scans EVERY 3 mths until they decided to relax it to 6 mths, and then to a year etc.

So the idea of merely being tied to a yearly mammogram feels rather liberating by comparison. I virtually skipped out of the hospital, feeling freer than I have done in a while.

There is nothing more frustrating than feeling hostage to your own health.

And for the first time in three months, I'm feeling a little more master, a little less servant.

1 comment:

dk said...

true.. but at parkside they have wombles...

mind you i once paid £100 quid there to see a dermatologist who didn't have a clue