Results are in….Good? Bad? You decide…

Had my post op appointment today. I’m beginning to be a good face reader…I could tell by the look on my consultant’s face, there was a lot to discuss.

Here’s a summary and some facts :

* Breast cancer is graded 1-3. My results have come back as a Grade 3. ‘The cancer cells look most changed and are usually fast growing’.
* Type of cancer – Invasive – Ductal with Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
* In addition to the tumours in the 2 ducts (1 invasive and 1 non invasive), 13 lymph nodes were removed, of which 8 were cancerous.
* Even though I had the most advanced scans, involving dye, the cancerous nodes were not picked up. It was only because my consultant (who is also my surgeon), used her expertise and felt them during surgery and took the decision to remove them and send to the lab. Had she not done this, I would be having surgery again next week!
* If more than 4 nodes are affected, next step is to have a bone and CT scan. This is routine and to determine if the cancer has spread to your organs or bones…yes.

What now?

* On Monday I have an appointment with my GP for some sleeping pills. I’ve been sleeping upright since 9th September. I’m usually awake 2/3am every morning.
* It’s advised to have a flu vaccine pre chemo so will discuss with GP as ideally, it will happen next week or early part of the following week.
* Wednesday I will be having a hair cut. Nothing to do with today’s appointment but I’ve decided to get a shorter version of my current hairstyle so that I can get used to things this way…ie. shorter, partial or no hair, who knows!?
* I’ll be receiving a letter next week of a date for my bone and ct scan – this is likely to happen week commencing 29th September 2014.
* I meet my Oncology team on Monday 6th October 2014. The team will by then, have the results of the scans of the previous week and I will know if the cancer is in any organ or bones….yes, I’ve just said that….
* Chemotherapy usually starts a week after this meeting. Currently, I’m down for 6 cycles of chemo. By my calculation (1 day every 3 weeks), this takes me to February 2015. We know that radiotherapy is also needed but until I have the meeting on 6 October with my Oncology team, I won’t know if I’m doing 6-8 cycles, won’t know radiotherapy date and I’ll only know on this day if the cancer has spread.
* If the cancer has spread…….STOP! I don’t know the answer as it will be specific to what and where it’s spread to and I cannot worry about this right now.
* 31st October, after my first but before my second chemo treatment, I have an appointment to see my consultant to review the implant and to increase the fluid via the port that’s currently inserted in my breast muscle.

How am I feeling?

* Let’s just say that up until yesterday, I was a different person. I’ve been mechanical up until now and emotions are setting in. I’m not a complete mess….yet…that will come during chemo. I did cry today and it felt good. It was a mixture of release but also, ‘yet more scans and more potential bad news and more waiting’. This release happened in my special room that I go to after the consultant- it’s our safe place to talk to the nurse, over a cup of tea….and always a full box of tissues in the room…
* I was convinced that they would drain the breast today as it is looking and feeling swollen….but she didn’t. Earlier in the week, it felt like mastitis! She explained that the fluid is moving around in the implant and there will be an element of lymph fluid too but she won’t drain it now. I’m only to be concerned if it turns red.
* Not sure why I thought this was a 3 week recovery but it’s 6-8weeks for full recovery! My breast bone still hurts ALOT.
* I’m very scared of lymphoedema – that’s getting a fat arm for the rest of your life! 30 % of people who have their nodes removed, get it. That’s a rather high %. At the breast cancer group this week, my first one, 3 ladies had it and wore what looked like a cast/bandage.
* I CAN go to the gym but only gentle stuff and no lifting.

Eating healthy is going to be vital now, more than ever. Juicing has started.



8 thoughts on “Results are in….Good? Bad? You decide…

  1. Gosh honey. Completely speechless. Thanks.for sharing and if at want a cup of tea and a listening ear, I am only down the road. Sending best wishes to your way. Xx


  2. Hun, you are one brave girl, going through the toughest time and able to reflect and talk about it. I don’t know what to say , just here to listen if you ever want to off load. Would love to pop by sometime when u feel up to it. Much love.


  3. Hi sweetie, reading your blog this morning and trying to find the right words, all I can do is thank you for sharing this with us and for being such an inspiration to us all. Sending you lots of hugs and call me when you are happy for visitors. Need to bring you lots of treats and celeb magazines over … Ha ha! Xxx


  4. I can’t find any words Nic and they’d all be pretty empty platitudes if I could. The only thing I can say is that you are very loved and supported by everyone who knows you. Team Loughlin are here for you whenever you need us. Xx


  5. Octo – 8 dodgy lymph nodes removed. Listen whatever mountains appear before you in place of your flat stretches, you can climb. No matter what happens, you keep moving girl. Allow the grump but rejoice in the confidence. You can do anything and cancer, even sometimes the worst kinds, can be overcome. Remind yourself about that and read survivor stories to keep the concept of “I will overcome” fresh in that pretty little head of yours. Which let me just say will be pretty regardless of the length of your hair.

    Lots and lots of love and positive energy heading your way Octobabe.


  6. Ok… So I finally read your blog….
    Other than the odd spelling mistake it’s pretty well written šŸ˜‰

    It’s odd reading it as it feels a little more like someone else’s story yet it’s actually your/our life right now.

    So proud of how you have faced this so far – im not sure I would have the same courage and conviction to keep on keeping on as you do.

    Always here babe – every step of the way.

    You do need to balance rest, recovery and recreation though.

    Think that sleeping pill kicked in
    Sweet dreams – Love you x


  7. Struggling here, with the tears streaming down my face and trying to find some positive things to say to you to keep your morale high. You are an amazing young woman to keep posting this blog whilst going through all this. Positives from my own experience = I had all the lymph nodes removed and I did worry about lymphodaema, but it didn’t happen, so that was a bonus, my cancer was grade 3 aggressive, but I am one of the lucky ones who also had a great surgeon consultant (a woman) and she did a great job, and I am still here and surviving 10 years later. You do worry about everything! its natural. But try not to worry about the things you don’t need to worry about just yet. Easy for me to say I know, but worrying about everything all at the same time takes its toll. Small steps, one at a time is the best way if you can manage to do that. Crying helps. You will hit rock bottom, and you will know it when you get there, but after that, the positive side of things appears, your attitude towards each hurdle will change and you will forge ahead and get on with it all. Then you will realise just how strong a woman you are. You are surrounded by loved ones, that is evident from what your friends post here and your husbands love and support knows no bounds. Take on board all the offers of help, the listening ears from friends, the shoulders to cry on, you will need them in the days to come, everyone is willing you well. If love, support and courage was all that was needed, you would beat this hands down and with flying colours. I will add to that, a large dose of luck and you have it made. Keep strong, stay brave and positive, and take one day at a time. You will get there, im sure of it. All my love to you and yours. xx Angela


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