Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Number Thirty Eight: The Hurry

You may well have got the impression already that I’m quite often in a hurry to move on to the next thing. This is definitely so and the impulse to move on has never been more strong than when it comes to moving on from the Beast Breast!
I’ve decided to return to work at the beginning of September- I just can’t resist that ‘start of a new year’ feel, can’t wait to catch up with everybody after so long off and get stuck into my job! Going back to work is the biggest part of moving on- I am really looking forward to getting back to normal (ish).
There are however a few pesky things that seem to be trying to hinder my hurry to move on…

  1. The Line- it’s just been a nightmare from start to finish really. I can now have it removed- yay! “Good news” I hear you cry- no more weekly hospital visits for line flushing or dressing changes. I’ll be able to swim and bath again! As soon as the line is removed I can stop the evil stingy blood thinning injections! That all sounds lovely apart from one sticking point… there’s no one available to remove the line- not at MK or at Northampton! So for now I’m stuck with it! (Have considered self removal but thought better of it!)
  2. The Hair- it’s definitely growing back but I think we all know that it realistically won’t be growing back fast enough for my liking! And if it’s possible I think a slightly hairy fluffy head is more unattractive than a completely bald head! Twice now I’ve woken up from dreaming about having lovely long hair. Cruel subconscious!
  3. The FAT- yep, eight months of feeling up to doing very little will do that to you (that and the steroids) my most regular form of exercise has been to shuffle pathetically from the sofa to the bed and back again! I am now feeling really motivated to get fit and healthy and lose the weight but it seems my body has other plans- I thought a brisk walk would be a sensible starting point… Oh no! My body was not happy about this- a bit of a shock to the system after so long on the sofa! My feet have decided to strongly object in the form of the biggest blisters you’ve ever seen! The soles of my feet are more blister than foot! Yesterday I could not even walk! (Unless you count the ridiculous penguin-like shuffle I adopted!) Was this really my body so literally telling me not to hurry quite so much?
  4. The Tattoos- they’re not exactly hindering my moving on but they are disappointing- much more visible than I thought they’d be and just serve as a little reminder that I’ll be driving up and down the M1 an awful lot over the next month! I’m approaching radiotherapy in the same flippant way I originally approached chemotherapy- let’s hope it’s the walk in the park I’ve set myself up for because if it’s not then I’m going to get a shock! Radiotherapy starts on 7th September for three weeks. 
  5. The Herceptin- I’ve not really experienced any side affects. The problem with this is the interruption really. From now on it’ll be given every three weeks at my house- very convenient until you factor into that canular and drip tangled equation two small children! Also the fact that I could think of much better things to do with two hours every third Friday afternoon!
  6. The scars- they don’t really bother me. They are just a reminder that reconstruction is still something to consider in the future.
  7. The Tamoxifen- starts next week and continues, one tablet a day, for the next FIVE years! This really is the part I’m dreading the most… can my marriage really survive an early menopause? I’m already a moody beast and things are set to get worse! (Good thing I’ve booked that holiday- let’s just hope I won’t be going alone!)

It’s not just my body urging me not to hurry too quickly… my friends keep giving me long head tilted looks and saying ‘Are you sure you’re not over doing it?’ Probably but I imagine they’d be exactly the same in my position!
Anyway, I’ll continue to look forward and get excited about the future but I’ll also try to do this at a pace that suits my recovery. I’ll try my very best to control my urge to hurry… promise.


  1. I'm hurrying too. I can reassure you that the hair grows quite quickly once the chemo is out your system. Can't help with line removal. Have ordered the Movemore pack from Macmillan to help me get fit(ter) as I am a woman mountain at present. Love Ali x

  2. I hurrid back but I am very impatient. Today I am regretting it because I am exhausted and I really do not want to go to work. My sofa looks lovely to me at the moment. It would only take a few phone calls to cancel some clients but its not in my nature, so I will soldier on like us women do. Enjoy your return to work xx

  3. Yep, racing a bit here too - to get back home to Liverpool! You're sounding in really good spirits tho Erin - Good for you! take care honey, love Chez. xx

  4. Apologies Erin as I did the tilted head look thing yesterday when I saw you and you told me of your imminent return to work! Your enthusiasm is commendable as you still have your radiotherapy to go, but we will love having you back in the fold so to speak. Enjoy the last few days off and put those poor blistered feet up on the sofa for a last little rest. lol xxxx

  5. OMG! I had no idea what is involved in having cancer and getting rid of it! That probaly sounds ridiculous but really I thought it was far less complicated than it is. I feel really bad how ignorant I am.

    now, as for you madam *put headteacher glasses on* I can empathise with you about getting back in the swing of things. I'm the world's worst at 'wait & see'. Have school organised for a phased return or reduced timetable? You're not going back to full class teaching are you? Get yourself a routine that includes all you want to do but in SMALLER steps than you want. As your body realises that you are taking back control you can up the amount you do.Does that make sense?

  6. Ha Ali, I like the sound of woman-mountain! Shows we have strength and won't be shifted easily! Xx
    Thanks Chez and Polly Dolly! Enjoy your meet up in Bristol-wish I could be there!
    Sarah, you were one of many! I'll take it easy I promise!
    And Julia... fear not! I promise you I have the MOST supportive and understanding head and deputy- they have been amazing! I am part time anyway and will be flitting in and out for radiotherapy at first. Also no full class teaching just yet. I'll be insipiring and boosting a select few year six pupils for the time being!Lucky them! I'm being welcomed back with open arms on the understanding I only do what I'm happy with. Super glad I am in the school I am- I feel very lucky about the support and love I've been shown.

  7. Just catching up with your blog via the MN Network. Amazing strength, courage and truth. Well done on this "diary".

  8. I think going back to work will make things much better for you! As you seem to enjoy it, and it will keep your mind occupied. I don't think there is any way to stop being in a hurry. But knowing all the things you want to change, will, it just might not happen as soon as you'd like. I hate not being in control of things, but when your waiting for something like hair to grow back, there is really nothing you can do to excelerate the process. Frustrating! But, it will happen, just not exactly when you want it to. Hang in there!

  9. I am a few months ahead (5 months since last chemo) of you so this is my view from the other side of the mountain:
    - my hair is a good few inches long, I think it took around 3.5 months to get to the level of looking kind of pixie rather than bald
    - work is a good thing, even though it doesn't feel good every single day, it definitely helps you shift the balance of focus away from the beast
    - exercise has been the single biggest help in recovering, so put those bandaids on and keep going, just a little bit at a time
    - I am 6 months into herceptin and the only side effect I would report is a dry nose (what is with that!)
    - Tamoxifen on the other hand...well let's just say the hot flushes aren't all that fun...but you just have to accept them and hope they eventually go away

    I didn't do radiation but I do know this...the combination of herceptin and tamoxifen is NOTHING compared to chemo. I feel very much my 'normal' self. You will too!