Friday, 30 August 2013

How wrong was I?

When I left the surgery last Friday Dr. Howlett said 'if it doesn't clear up next week come back and see me'

With the high dose of penicillin prescribed I couldn't imagine that it would be necessary!

How wrong was I?

As I mentioned in my last post some of the pus oozed out on Friday night.........

Then after my bath on Saturday night some more came out.........

By Sunday the whole area looked and felt so much better and no oozing! Brilliant!

As promised by the lovely Doctor I had a loose stomach but after four days I was back to normal!

All seemed to be going to plan ............

On Thursday I popped into the surgery to pick up my tamoxifen and thought as I left I wouldn't need to be there for another month when I needed to collect the next pack.

How wrong was I?

When I lifted my arm up to dry it after my bath last night ......... guess what?

Yup ........ there were a couple of pin pricks of pus......

Shit, shit, shit!

Should I go back to see him??

No you'll just be wasting his time!

But we're going away for a few days next week what if it flares up again?


So today at  5pm you will have found me with my top off in front of Dr. Howlett .........

Soooooooooooooo I've got another weeks worth of penicillin 'just to be on the safe side!'

Saturday, 24 August 2013

An update on the infection!

Did I mention the bloody horse pills I've got to take???

two, four times a day .... they are huge and very difficult  to get down ...... OH has told me I'm a wimp but really how are you meant to swallow these things??

After I'd posted the blog about my infection last night I went for a bath.....

As I lifted my arm to pat dry the infected scar with the towel I saw some pus ........ now in normal circumstances and you may remember from my post about the boil I like nothing better than a good squeeze and the joy of pus....... BUT..................

not tonight Josephine

So I dabbed a tissue under my arm and then clamped another one there whilst I dried the rest of me ..... quite a difficult manoeuvre!

Suffice to say a lot of stuff came out!

What a relief ......... it felt better almost immediately!

Today its still pretty sore but not swollen! However I've felt crap all day ..... so much so that I had to light the wood burner and slob all day in front of it in between forcing down the horse pills!

Friday, 23 August 2013

I have an infection!

On Saturday I decided that everything had healed post radio therapy and that it was time to stop the twice daily application of aqueous cream and take the underwired boulder holders out of mothballs........

Ta dah........ well OH was the only one who saw me flash ....... new bra too!!!

On Sunday my underarm ...... the side where the lymph nodes were removed from felt sore.
Of course I ignored it ...... well we'd been at a market all day and I was knackered ...... simples

On Monday I took a peek and it looked tres sore and swollen. Bollocks!!

By Wednesday it had got worse and I was getting a tad concerned ...... well, very concerned but as you know I have to be dead before I go to the Doctors Surgery - it was my upbringing so I ignored it.
However after cheese making all day it really was very uncomfortable and that evening I had to go and give a talk to a local WI.
I ironed a top, put it on, had a pee and then was on the way out the door when I realised that the bra really was the problem ...... although it wasn't touching the scar, (as you know I've put on weight) and my underarm is podgy and was being squidged!!

................... so off came the bra, out came the iron to press another top ( more supportive and not thinning like the one I had just put on!!)

Immediate relief!!!

This morning it seemed to be getting worse but I had loads to do so decided (well had decided on Wednesday that I'd give it four days to improve ) to ring the surgery on Monday!

Ha! Wrong ............. when I got back home after doing my bits and bobs I went to put some cream on it as it really was uncomfortable.

Arm up in front of the bathroom mirror really wasn't a pretty sight .......

I phoned the surgery .........

So at 4.30pm this afternoon you would have found me with my top off  in a doctors consulting room!!

'You can put your top back on' he said as he washed his hands

'Oh of course with breast cancer you get so used to taking your top off ..........'

Sooooooooooo he thinks its an infection and has prescribed a very strong dose of penicillin.... two capsules, four times a day.
Will probably give me a loose stomach  ......the shits then! thank goodness I'm not at any markets or milk recording then!

As its very red around the area there is a chance if it starts to blister that its shingles so I've got to keep an eye on it!

What a lovely Doctor .....  great bedside manner, same sense of humour as me and easy to talk to!!

I still didn't know his name so as I left I asked and then saw it on the prescription ........ aaaaahhhhh Dr. Howlett

'Alan' he said and 'If its not better next week you must come back and see me.


When I told OH about him he said 'I think he has quite a fan club amongst the ladies in the village'

Can I join the fan club please???!!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Meeting old friends

As you know I'm a bit of a Twitter chick ......and have preferred it to Facebook as I couldn't get the hang of facebook!

Sooooooooooo it wasn't until I was at a loose end after my operation that I really started to look at FB.

What a revelation??!!!

I started to connect with friends I hadn't seen for years and as a result we met up with C and P on Tuesday  who were on holiday in this part of the world.

Guess how long it was since we last saw them???


No, not even close!

I'll tell you least 20 years!

It was so lovely to see them, catch up and find that they haven't changed in the intervening years .......... 3 hours just flew by!

Someone else who hasn't changed is my friend M.

M and I worked in Boots the Chemist (yes it was called that in the late 1970's) during our college days on a Friday evening and Saturday.

 We were privileged to serve on the chemist counter ....... well that's what we thought as it seemed important to have to ask the pharmacist if we could sell certain medicines to customers and we took great delight in not pricing the Durex so that when men came to buy them we had to hold the packet up and shout across to each other 'How much are these??'


.....and then usually have to look the price up in the book ............ hopefully we weren't responsible for too many unwanted pregnancies in Andover at the start of the 1980's!

We both left home went out into the big wide world in different directions but kept in touch, met up in London for lunches, (excellent that it was halfway!) attended each others weddings.............and then.......

the annual phone call on Christmas Day!

Whaaat I hear you cry......

Yes, for years we just spoke on Christmas Day ....... and always joked not to worry it wasn't Christmas if we called each other at any other time!
Oh and we texted!!

What can I do???

The first words she spoke on the phone after I'd texted her in March to tell her about the bastard cancer.

I actually can't remember my reply but we agreed that she would come down and look after me for a few days after my operation or during the radio therapy.

Well, bloody fucking sods law...........................

She was diagnosed with something that needed an operation so her visit had to go on hold as she also had to convalesce....

On Wednesday evening she arrived and this morning she had to go home but I can't believe how much we packed into two days ........................... it seemed like she'd been here a week!!!

Yup I was meant to be resting and she was going to do all my jobs.....

 BUT........... for goodness sake you didn't think I was going to lounge around did you???

I have to say I am bloody knackered and had to stop doing things for tomorrows market to rest but don't regret it for a minute so will not listen to any of your nagging!!!!

Monday, 12 August 2013

A dark cloud and little green man!

Hellooooo..............yes I'm still here!!!

Not much to report really hence the radio silence!!

For the last few days I've had a dark cloud hanging around me and a little green man putting thoughts into my head .......... no matter how many times I tell it to fuck off it just sticks two fingers up at me and refuses to budge .........

Is it the lack of sleep and the persistent fatigue that is dogging me????


Is it because we've almost run out of cheese???


Is it because we're still not making much cheese???


Is it because I'm not sure if we'll ever get the business back up to full capacity again???


Is it because my parents have had the nerve to tell me I'm doing too much and should rest .........

Yup, the same ones who won't come and visit me even when they're staying in Devon and so clearly have no idea as to how I'm coping with this whole bastard cancer thing!

The father who when I phoned to wish him a Happy Birthday lectured me (but told me he wasn't lecturing! ... yeah right) and made me feel like I was 15 again and having to listen to him going on and on about where I was going wrong .... for fuck sake............. leave it out!


Is it because everywhere I look everyone is having a good time. My timeline on Twitter and Facebook are full of peoples successes, going on trips, taking holidays, not having a care in the world ................

Yes, yes, yes...............

....... and do you know? ...... Its an awful thing to say but I'm jealous.

So a serious self bollocking is needed tout suite!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

They don't tell you about this.....

When I first met the dapper Dr. Goodman he said that about a week after radio therapy I would probably start to feel tired and would have to stop doing things and rest ....... yeah yeah yeah...

Well he was right ....... of course!!!

I can't believe how the fatigue sets in but I've just had to accept it and rest ..... some days are better than others BUT.....

I feel crap..............

Nearly everyday I feel crap.................

Each night I go to bed feeling tired and usually within an hour I fall asleep  .... I've never been one for dropping off straight away!

If I'm lucky I'll sleep until around 2am when OH then gets up for a pee, walks into things, sighs and talks to himself in the bog.

I then realise I'm dripping with sweat despite wearing nothing and being covered with just a sheet.

So now I'm awake .......

.......come on turn over and go back to sleep ....

.... I can't

Think I need to drink my glass of water....

.... oh now I need a pee...

Back into bed and then I feel cold so on goes the duvet ....

Oh come on go back to sleep..


Now I'm sweating again off comes the duvet and on goes the sheet...

More water...

This goes on for around two hours and then bliss I go back to sleep ...... fab if its a normal day as I usually manage to sleep until six when the boiler starts up, absolute bollocks if I'm milk recording and having to get up around 4.30 and 5 am.

They don't tell you about this!

Ok, the list of side affects for tamoxifen mentions night sweats but not insomnia ....... I  only discovered that from talking to others who've been on this journey.

They don't tell you about this.

Did I mention the stiff knees??? 

First thing in the morning and if I sit for any length of time I walk like an old lady.

They don't tell you about this.

Its bloody awful and I'm knackered.

Yesterday the teary feelings came back and I feel really pissed off, just like the feelings I blogged about on 13th June.

Sooooooo this week I've got my third prescription for tamoxifen ...... I can't believe that I have to order it every month despite the fact that I've got to take it for at least the next five years (bloody government rules I expect!) oh yes and talking about bloody government rules, when OH went to collect my prescription from the surgery he was told that in future if I wanted him to collect my prescriptions I have to send a note authorising it ....... for gods sake Mr. Cameron WHY???? you know I'm allergic to Dr's Surgeries! (oh, by the way he's not just passed the law for me and OH, it applies to everyone!)

Now back to the tamoxifen ....... for two months I've been on a brand called Relon, but this month its Teva........

So what???????

Well after the initial teary and pissed off stage on Relon  I've felt fine but since taking Teva its all come back....


They don't tell you about this .....


... different brands of tamoxifen have different side affects .....

Yesterday I looked on various breast cancer forums about side affects from tamoxifen brands ........

.... as usual scared myself shitless........