Well, it was okay, the worst thing was the long wait, I had to be on the ward for 7:30 am, Ray was able to stay with me until he had to leave for his appointment in High Wycombe with Dr Jackson. Ray visited a friend after seeing Dr Jackson and still arrived back at the hospital before I had been for surgery. Ray had a good discussion with Dr Jackson, it appears that the MRI was so important as they needed to be sure that Ray’s symptoms were not being caused by a brain tumour. I’ll admit that this never occurred to me, and I’m glad about that as things were bad enough at the time without that to worry about as well.
For some of the time, I chatted with a lady whose husband had gone for surgery, she was jolly and cheerful, her sense of humour was great, and she did a good job of keeping my mind off the operation. We had quite a laugh together, talking about failing memories and the joys of getting older, Glennis is over twenty years older than me and had been single until marrying her husband Mike 17 years ago. They were able to leave soon after Mike had returned from his operation so I spent the remaining time reading.
When my turn for surgery came, Ray had just arrived, so he went off in search of some lunch. The surgeon was great, he covered my right eye for me as I didn’t want to see what was going on and answered my questions before and during the surgery. With all the various drops I had put in my left eye, I wasn’t able to make out much of what was happening, all I could feel was pressure as the surgeon worked to remove the Scleral Buckle. When it was all done, the eye was covered with a dressing, the cover was removed from my right eye and I was walked back to the ward. After coffee and toast I was allowed to go home. When we got home, I went straight to bed and slept off the stress.
The next morning my eye was uncomfortable but bearable, I had to take the dressing off so that I could start with the antibiotic/anti-inflammatory eye drops the hospital had given me. It was much better than when the Scleral Buckle had been inserted 18 months ago, although it was puffy, my eyelid opened and the eye was only red to the bottom left and underneath the iris where the buckle had been.
This is how it looked 18 months ago, day one and three days post-op
And this is Wednesday before and after taking off the patch
Fortunately, I was recovered enough to go to the HOPE Course on Wednesday, Josh drove me as my eyesight wasn’t legal, after all the years of ferrying your children about, it’s fabulous when they reach the stage of passing their driving test and being available for chauffeuring duties!
This week at HOPE, we talked about body image, and sexuality and intimacy. Other than the hot flushes, one other distressing side effect of the Tamoxifen is vaginal dryness. The lady I sit with told me she had the same problem and was prescribed hormonal pessaries which she finds do the trick, so it’s now on my list to ask about next time I see my GP. Being able to talk so openly with other women about the impact of cancer on relationships, emotions and life in general is so therapeutic, we have so much to offer each other in sharing our feelings and experiences. I recommend it to any of you reading this who are having or have had treatment for cancer.
This week we were asked to set a goal related to the topic, so I have decided to get a proper bra fitting, all the bras I have are now uncomfortable or the wrong size in various directions. So on Monday I am off to M&S for a measuring and fitting appointment. I am not looking forward to the trying on part, I always seem to get sweaty in fitting rooms and with the hot flushes making a re-appearance, it could be an embarrassing event!
The last few days have been a nightmare of overheated dampness, if I make any move to do anything other than sit still I end up bathed in sweat, when this happens I get short tempered, best described as hot and bothered. I thought I had got over this but it appears not, I’m tired of it now, I hope this phase wears off again soon, I seem to spend more and more time at home with just a vest on top, it’s really not cool!
Ray ordered a small desk fan for me to have on my desk when I go back to work, I have been making use of it today, I told him I need another one to keep at home, as I type this, I can feel the heat building again.
My eye is getting better, I could see well enough to drive on Friday, and the redness is dispersing so that the white is now varying shades of red through to yellow and I am managing without pain relief during the day. By the evening, it is tired and sore so I take painkillers to help me sleep. I have a lovely plastic eye shield to put on at night so that I don’t accidentally rub or knock it in my sleep. It occurred to me yesterday that it looks a little like I am beginning to be assimilated by The Borg!
I’d like to claim to look like Jeri Ryan as ‘Seven of Nine’ after she has recovered from being severed from the Borg Collective, but it would be more honest to say I more closely resemble her when she has just been rescued, only I still can’t claim to have such an impressive physique!