Saturday, December 25, 2010

The very festive festive season

It has been a few weeks since I have managed to sit down at the computer and update the blog. The festive season has been very busy and festive. Many things have happened since I my last entry: had one year scans, still dealing with lymphodema, had by birthday and am recovering from Christmas Day. Let's take them one at a time.....

I had my yearly scans and mammograms a few weeks ago. I wasn't (consciously) feeling anxious about the results, I was feeling anxious about having my boobs squeezed flat like a pancake. Once again, I found myself sitting in the waiting room with a few women who were all much older than me. They were chatting amongst themselves and I was reading a magazine, catching up on celebrity gossip from 12 months ago. Anyway, one of the ladies was talking about her surgeon and how lovely he was. He was the same surgeon I had, so I said that he did my surgery and I really like him too. She looked at me and asked, 'What surgery did you have?'. I told her that I had breast cancer, it was then that she and the other women looked shocked. They said to me that I was a baby and so young to have gone through this. I used to be like that a year ago - thinking that breast cancer was the 'old woman's disease', but I have learnt my lesson the hard way. Anyway, the results of the scan were all clear and things are looking good. I need to see my surgeon in six months, but I am feeling pretty confident at the moment that I have kicked cancer's ass and it will be too scared to come back again!

I am still having treatment for my lymphodema and am now sporting a very stylish compression sleeve. It is supposed to be flesh colour, but I have never met a human with such an insipid shade of beige as a skin colour. It does seem to be helping, as does my very regular trips to the physiotherapist. I am a little annoyed every time I go and swipe my health fund card. My refund for each treatment is $22, so my out of pocket expenses are very high. I am sure it would be cheaper to have a crack habit. I have also gone to have a lymphatic massage with a therapist who has also had breast cancer. She was recommended to me and was very good. However, I walked in and within about eight seconds she had exposed herself to me; showing me her breast reconstruction and her new tattooed nipple! I didn't want to look at it, but thought it would be impolite not to seem interested! She was very kind and great, so I will be going back to see her (and hopefully NOT her new nipple) soon.

My birthday celebrations this year were in stark contrast to the celebrations last year! Last year I celebrated by having my wound drain removed in time for the Powderfinger concert. This year was another Powderfinger concert, but there was no wound drain removal required! We ended having my birthday party at home, which was wonderful. I got so many messages on my birthday from friends saying they hoped I was having a relaxing and decadent day. Preparing a party for 60 people at my house was not the most relaxing way to spend my day, but it was all worth it. It was a great night - filled with friends, family and french bubbles! I am starting to feel like myself again. When I look at the photos from that night, it seems like a long way from that day in the bathroom where I realised I looked like Uncle Fester.

Yesterday was Christmas Day and was another big celebration at the house. My immediate family consists of my parents, three siblings, two sisters-in-law, one brother-in-law, fives nieces and four nephews. So you can imagine yesterday was not quiet and relaxing, it was noisy and messy and busy and awesome! Last Christmas I spent most of it crying, trying to fake a smile and dreading the year ahead. This year I spiked my punch, swam with the kids and beat everyone at Just Dance on the Wii! This year has been the toughest one of my life and it was wonderful to be able to celebrate the end of it with my family.

This festive season has been far more festive than last season. I have thrown myself into celebrations for my birthday and Christmas and have thoroughly enjoyed them all. I am feeling hopeful about 2011 and am looking forward to a year full of good health, good friends and good times!

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