Bathroom Bliss, Poorly Husband and Visit from a Friend

Wednesday was reasonably peaceful, I got some more things back in to the kitchen, there is so much still in boxes that I am not sure it is all going to fit in the cupboards! It has been a slow process, I have learned to make sure I rest between periods of activity. And the bathroom is as good as finished, all that needs to be done now is the ceiling light to go up and the extractor fan cover to be fitted. The Electricians arrived to do this on Friday afternoon, just as we were on our way out for a hospital appointment, so we had to leave them to lock up when they had finished. It looks great, so good to have a shiny new bathroom suite.

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And the kitchen looks great too, but I’m not sure if my shabby chic accessories will look right in a sparkly new room

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Tuesday evening, Ray had a migraine and went to bed early, he went to work on Wednesday but was still unwell and came home in the early afternoon and went straight to bed. He has been vomiting (sorry, TMI) and hasn’t been able to keep any solids down since Monday. His vision is disturbed, he says it is like he has had too much to drink and he has pain up one side of his neck and his head feels pressured.

So Thursday morning we went to the Doctors, Dr Firth checked him over thoroughly and the outcome was stress induced tension headache, she prescribed Diazepam to relax the muscles in his neck and he has a sickness certificate until Monday 1st December. Her advice is to spend the time relaxing, for us to go for gentle walks and for him to do things he enjoys. I have been worried about him for some time, he is such a kind man and is literally generous to a fault – the fault being that he puts other people’s needs before his own, and is so conscientious at work that he burns himself out. He has been saying that he is fine and that he is just getting on with things, but I know that he is suffering in silence and that there would come a point where the stress will hit him, and now it has. Ray went straight back to bed when we got home.

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I had a visit from my friend Margaret, we used to work together until she retired last year, it was lovely to see her and catch up on her news. She brought a gift of a Cyclamen, one of my favourite winter flowering plants, just hope I can keep it alive, to say my record with house plants is rather disappointing would be an understatement!

Thankfully, in the afternoon Ray stopped being sick and managed some toast in the evening. On the Doctors recommendation, I had popped to town and got one of those neck cosies that go in the microwave to warm up, it smells of lovely lavender, and Ray says it did help ease the pain in his neck so that was good. I must admit I went in to ‘Florence Nightingale’ mode, dashed about with drinks of water and medicines for Ray, got carried away tidying up at home and doing a supermarket dash to stock up on essentials, I carried too much shopping and suffered for it in the evening with painful twinges in my breasts, and after saying I have learned to pace myself! When will I learn?

Friday – Ray is much improved, he still has a headache and sore neck but it is not as bad as it was yesterday and he has been able to stay awake all day. I had another appointment at Mount Vernon Hospital this afternoon, Ray felt well enough to come with me, and I was very pleased to have his company.

This was a group appointment for of myself and four other ladies, all of us due to start Radiotherapy in the next few weeks (and our partners/friends). We were shown The Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre and one of the volunteers gave us drinks and explained the services they offer. We were then collected by one of the Radiotherapy staff to have a tour around the Radiotherapy Suites and watch a presentation explaining our treatment and follow up care.  We all had a chance to ask questions, the main points for me were:

As I am having treatment for both breasts, the time I spend in the Linear Accelerator will be double that taken to treat a single breast as the machine has to be set up to treat one side and then moved to treat the other. The Linear Accelerator is the machine providing the radiotherapy treatments it will look just like this:

LINAC

Ray was concerned that as I will have a break of four days in treatment over Christmas that the Radiotherapy might not be as effective. We were assured that this will have been considered by the care team and they would have ensured that it would not have a detrimental effect on the outcome of my treatment.

I will need to make sure I always use a high factor sun cream on the treated area when going out in the sun from now on as the skin will be much more sensitive and burn very easily. I’m going to struggle with this as I dislike the way sun protection cream make my skin feel, it makes me feel oily, sticky and dirty, yuk! Do any of you know of a sun cream which doesn’t do this?

During and after treatment I will have to cultivate the habit of using moisturiser at least twice each day to help my skin cope, it has to be perfume free and as simple as possible, I can use 99% Aloe Vera so I’m happy with that 🙂

I don’t need to take any of my jewellery off, just all my clothes from above the waist… as any of you who have had treatment for breast cancer will know, you have to get used to bearing your breasts and having them pushed and pulled about by all manner of medical staff, there is no room for modesty here! I am becoming quite blasé about it now, my biggest issue is that it is often cold in the hospitals, especially in rooms where there are big pieces of technological equipment that need to be kept in cool, air conditioned environments to stop them from overheating and breaking down. I will be heading for the café for a seat by the radiator with a warming cup of coffee to thaw out before coming home.

My breasts may become swollen so I will hold on to my more generous post-surgery bras (or as Ray would say bramassivos) in case I need them again.

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It is just over five weeks since my operation and I still have a blue patch on my left breast, I thought that it would have cleared by now, I think next time I go to hospital I will ask about it if it has still not gone.

Today Ray and I are both feeling low, we didn’t sleep well last night, plus Ray has a headache again and his tongue is numb down one side. So we went to town to get some groceries and to Healthright for more Aloe Vera Cream and some perfume-free deodorant in preparation for my Radiotherapy, we are now relaxing. Ray was watching the Rugby, well, I say that, but how he can watch it through closed eyelids I’m not quite sure, must be magic! But then shortly after writing this, I nodded off too, my laptop slid off my knees and on to the floor, fortunately it didn’t do any damage.

Megan cooked Lasagne and Garlic Bread for dinner, very tasty! We have watched ‘Strictly’, the dancing was fantastic tonight! And are now watching Atlantis, lightweight viewing is just right for a Saturday evening.

Strictly 22 Nov

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2 thoughts on “Bathroom Bliss, Poorly Husband and Visit from a Friend

  1. Hi, I read your blog for the first time from the link in the bubbling well. And I reacted to it rather emotionally! My own link in the well is my post regarding my recent trip to the breast clinic from which I returned with a clean bill of health. I feel a bit awkward admitting that to you but as you can imagine I relate to your story because in those two weeks while you wait for the lump to get examined you imagine all sorts. And there are so many sorts and treatments and outcomes. Your brain goes through so many scenarios. I hope that you and your husband can find solace and comfort in each other and in the support of friends and family. I hope that your journey through all of this is blessed and as good as it can possibly be. And I hope that in the midst of what must seem quite surreal at times you find the sweet joys of normal life, plenty to make you smile and oodles of beauty, hope and love.

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