In the meantime, I’ll need to have a pre-surgery assessment (bloods, ECG etc.) on 6th July and a radioactive dye injected on the 9th.
However ... the surgeon was also keen for me to understand that there is still a 10% (ish) chance that I might need a second operation (i.e. a mastectomy).
Basically, the problem with having chemo before surgery is that, while it can shrink the tumour and show which drugs are effective, any dispersal of the tumour can be uneven and patchy and make it difficult to see - and therefore completely remove.
So I won’t know until Friday 20 July, when I get the results of the pathology report (i.e. the assessment of the cells removed), whether or not I’ll have to go back and have my entire breast removed. I can see that being an agonising 10 day wait ...
I really don’t know how I feel about all this. I had rather hoped that the operation would bring me some sense of completion or closure but now I realise that it might just be a holding position for something far more drastic. It’s all very daunting. I feel like I’m in limbo (again!)
Added to which, I’m also still very uncomfortable from last week’s chemo. My Mum has lent me a walking stick but I’m finding it very, very difficult to get around and that, coupled with the increasingly frequent hot flushes that I’m getting, resulted in more than a few tears as I limped to and from South Kensington today!
Fortunately, the long-suffering Mr P. was with me. Holding my handbag as I tottered unsteadily along and giving me cuddles each time I started to cry. (Most notably in Outpatients when, after limping for twenty minutes to get there, I was told that I’d been in the right place to start with!)
Anyway, we are where we are. And I’m now at home resting my legs and Mr P. has gone to Royal Ascot. I’m glad he still managed to make it, despite our protracted hospital visit, and I fully expect him to feel very unwell tomorrow!
I even asked him to put on a few little bets for me, including one on the ironically named ‘Rebellious Guest’. Appropriately, however in hindsight, it didn't win ... J