Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Monday 23rd February

In so many ways, I wish I had a blueprint  for what’s to happen now – or I knew what was next. I think that’s what I’m missing.

From the moment the lump was found in my boob, there was a plan that I had to follow: see this doc, have this test, wait for results, plan the treatment, have the treatment. It was the rollercoaster that Mark described.

Now I have been off the rollercoaster for a while and I feel a little at sea. I know that everything takes time and that I will get better slowly. I would really like to have a little more idea of what’s supposed to be happening, though.

I’m not even sure which doc I could check with. The surgeon’s job was done once I’d had the mastectomy. The plastic surgeon gave me the ‘all’s progressing normally’ a while ago. The oncologist has me on a particular, long term track. I will see him in 2 months time.

Things happen, though, that I’m not so sure about and I don’t know who I would check with.

Since the operation – in fact, since the sentinel lymph node biopsy – I have had the feeling of a lump under my right arm. From what I understand, this is the swelling and the lymph needing to find other ways to drain. I get all this, but it doesn’t seem to have got any better. Both the plastic surgeon and the oncologist said it’s all normal and it’ll take time. If I go paddling, it sometimes seems to get worse, though. And there is more discomfort on the right.

Is this normal? Am I causing more swelling? Is there any threat of lymphodoema?

I actually don’t even know how to begin to find an answer to the questions. I don’t know if I should phone one of the doctors, or if my GP would know. It can get a little frustrating.

I do know that time is the healer. I need to be patient and to allow things to happen at their own pace.  I also know that the advice I’ve been given over and over is to listen to my body. So, I paddle fairly regularly, but not pushing myself too much. I don’t even try to do sit-ups. And I keep on pacing myself as my body seems to be telling me.

Sometimes these ‘piece of string’ things can be annoying. (This from someone who teaches Drama, where every single person and every single piece is different 🙂 )

Life isn’t about blacks and whites, though. It’s about finding out as you go along, about making choices and doing what can be done.

Sometimes, though, a definitive answer and an actual plan would be good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *