Are you bikini ready and body confident? I’m really struggling at the moment with body positivity. Having gone through a double mastectomy and failed reconstruction, I was always going to have issues with my changed body. However, it has really come to the fore this spring with the influx of social media campaigns declaring that all bodies are beautiful. A large number of these campaigns are run by people who I would consider to be attractive women of an average size. Of course, all women are prone to body insecurity. But I can’t help but feel that when an average-sized woman is presented as the champion of fat acceptance, it totally […]
At this point Mini, my second child was around one I was offered the test too. MadDad and myself went along to meet the pretest councillor and discussed all the implications of having a positive test. We left those meetings really feeling as though I needed to have the test and I need to be aware of what my risk would be. Do I had the test and two weeks later we went back for the results, only to be told that I too carried the faulty gene too.
We went home reeling, especially as I had been told that my lifetime risk of breast cancer was over 80% and my lifetime risk of ovarian cancer was in excess of 60%. However, we decided to look up on this as a positive thing and do the only thing I felt able to do which was to gather as much information as possible about treatment and screening. I had a mammogram and an MRI on my breasts, but both were really hard to interpret due to my age (the younger you are the more dense the breast tissue is) and also the fact I had large breasts.
It was around this time that we made the hard decision that we were not going to have anymore children and that I needed to be well for the two I had and to have my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. I did this first as there is some studies that shown the risk of ovarian cancer increases at 35 and also it is a silent killer and there was no screening I could have at the time.
Four months later we made the informed decision to have a double mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with implants. We made the decision to have implants due to MIni being under a year old and the recovery would be quicker. So I went in for my operation on 28 February. Unfortunately for me things were not straightforward and I had issues with the implants and subsequently spent a lot of time in hospital with sepsis and had to have the implants removed and another operation to remove some more tissue sue to the pathology of the previously removed breasts.
It was a hard and very emotional time for me and my family. I was in hospital for over six weeks over a two month period. But I reduced my risk of breast cancer to less than 5%. I still have not had a reconstruction, but when the boys are more self sufficient I will.
I was hot, yes I know I was in a hospital and they are always hot, but normally the dressings clinic is OK. Yes the window is open, but I know that I am a little off, just not right, I can not put my finger in it and it is about to get worse. The nurse has returned with all the things she needs to remove these stitches and I will be so glad to see them go. No blue thread making my chest look like a zip, no more pulling and pressure as the skin tightens around them. I am so happy to see them go, the boys less […]
It is nearly one year since my first breast surgery. I was frantically trying to fit everything in that I needed to. I had booked 6 weeks of Tesco Deliveries, a book of all the things the boys liked, ate, did and schedules. But specifically the one thing I was doing a year ago was writing letters.I wrote 4 letters and 3, I will share with you, the one I wrote to MadDad is not and never will be for public consumption, but I wrote one each to the boys and one explaining why i was doing what I was. Writing those letters was the hardest thing I had ever had […]
White on white, raised and hard So obviously foreign in their origin Not flowing, not organic Just Jagged and sharp Like quiet footsteps on a hard floor Pattering against the soft smooth skin puckered, raw and taught Alien in the lunar landscape gripping pain, prevents rest and sleep no amount of rubbing can realise me I press against my muscles with my fingers Too tense they refuse to give electric currants pulse through the wires still no release from the incessant pull warm swimming feeling from opiates in mind pain penetrates all options I sink in to the deep warm water hoping for some realise Deeper holding my breath stifling the […]
Please don’t call me brave, please don’t tell me I have done the brave thing. What I have done was the easy option, the only option I felt open to me. It was Hobson’s choice. How could I live knowing the risk I had and not worry with every passing moment that a cancer was growing inside me. No I took the easy way out. Please don’t call me brave. I have never had to tell my children, my husband, my mother or my friends that I have cancer. I have never had to make them feel that everything is going to be OK, when actually I want them to be […]
Geriatric Mummy is in the very unfortunate circumstances of watching her beloved Father go rapidly downhill with early onset dementia and she has asked what other people would do in her situation. I decided to do a post, rather than a comment, as it would be rather long, as this is a subject close to my heart. I have a faulty gene, technically they call it a spelling mistake in the DNA and in mine and my family’s case the issue is with the BRCA 1 gene, which for me due to my family history means that I had an 80% lifetime risk of breast cancer and a 60% lifetime risk […]
In an ideal world a hospital for me would focus on healing the mind, in addition to healing the body. It would be a calm and peaceful place catering for all the needs of the people there. Now I have been in and out of hospital enough lately to be able to say that the staff are wonderful and do the very best with the resources available to them, so this is not an NHS bashing post, but a far away dream. On my visit in February this year, I was awarded a single occupancy room and it was fantastic, I had my own bathroom area, which was in a wet […]
Just a quick post to let you all know that I am home, sore and tired, but so glad to have escaped from the hospital. Unfortunately I have had to have more surgery than anticipated and had to have old fashioned stitched, which means I will have to go back and have them removed. But I am at home and happy to be back with my wonderful family. Also I would like to say thank you for all the words of support and a special mention goes to Bad Penny at The Hen House for making me cry with this post.
Before I went in to hospital in February I wrote a letter to each of my boys in case anything happened. In them I laid out what was happening and why. So I am in again on Tomorrow and want to do the same. MaxiMad My wonderful, amazing boy. You are my first born the one who taught me how joyful, exhausting and blissful motherhood can be. You are a light that sparkles through all the darkness and calls out bringing happiness and innocence all in one great big parcel. I want you to know just how special and unique you are and how much I enjoy being with you, learning […]
MaxiMad gets a weekend homework project each week, nothing hard, just a little something. It has been to learn his address, draw his favorite hobby, write to 20 and last week it was to draw some number and colour patterns. He gets his project on a Thursday and it is returned on a Tuesday, so this evening we got back from the park and checked out his book. The comment from last weeks work was that his teacher liked his colour pattern and would love a necklace like that. Well MaxiMad decided a necklace she should have (she wont make that mistake twice!!). I have lots of beads for the boys, […]
Over at the fabtastic (yep that is a cross between fabulous and fantastic, as she is both) Stephanie’s Bah to cancer this morning. I am finally telling my story and my choices, if any one is interested. Whilst you are there, please also take a look at Stephanie’s blog, which is a heart wrench, but positive story of her dance with breast cancer. Remember that is is Brest cancer awareness month, so get checking those breasts.
I wasn’t going to use this blog to write about my mastectomy and failed reconstruction, but it is a really big part of my life and, therefore, our family’s life too. I underwent the bi-lateral prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction at the end of February this year and due to compilations had to have the reconstruction reversed. I then developed a post operative infection that very nearly killed me (sounds very dramatic, but at the time was horrific) and am just healing both physically and mentally. I have been very lucky in that I am receiving some wonderful counselling from Tees Valley Counselling Trust to help me to become accepting of my […]
The eldest Minimad was born with a tongue tie which didn’t go until he was 5 months old and it has caused him to have issues with the F sound, so the preschool referred him to a speech therapist. This morning was his assessment at home and she asked him to sound out lots of words, to try and isolate where he had any issues. He can sound it out at the end and middle of a word, but not at the beginning, so she is going to send us details of some fun exercises we can do over the holidays and see him once he enters Reception class this September. […]