…a huge sigh of relief…based on the examination today, my surgeon is pretty confident there’s nothing sinister going on.
He can’t feel any suspicious lumps or bumps. There is some swelling which may be the beginning of lymphoedema in my chest wall. I’ve got an appointment with my lymphoedema nurse at the end of May to check it out.
The pain I’m experiencing is likely to be caused by damaged nerves firing at random. The nerves in my chest wall, armpit and arm have been damaged, cut and burned by chemo, surgery and radiotherapy and they are randomly active and regrowing. This is called neuropathic pain. I’m going to be prescribed Gabapentin which is an epilepsy drug which has been found to be good at blocking pain receptors in the brain. These pains may continue for a long time, perhaps years, so hopefully the pain relief will make things more manageable.
I am being sent for an ultrasound scan in a week or so to confirm that there’s nothing more serious, so I’ll look forward to the results of that.
And the results of my mammogram are back and all is ok – hooray!
And I’ve been referred to a post-cancer fatigue course which should be helpful, as exhaustion is probably the most frustrating side effect of treatment at the moment.
It wasn’t great to be back in the waiting rooms of old, and they were running late as per so our visit was 5 hours in all. The staff were all lovely as usual. I’ve been there so much over the last year they all know me and it is a very caring and friendly place to be. The pains, worries, concerns that I have post treatment are all par for the course and completely normal, they assure me, which is some comfort. As my surgeon said, having a cancer diagnosis so young has an impact of its own, and we’ve had to leave our pre-diagnosis normal behind and now we’re in the process of working out what our new normal is going to be.
And a big thankyou to everyone who has sent texts, emails etc in the lead up to today’s appointment. It has loomed large over the last few days and it was really lovely to hear from you and have your support, as always.
So, all in all it has been a very good day. A GP appointment in a week or so for the new drugs, an ultrasound appointment in a couple of weeks, the lymphoedema appointment and then the course on how to cope with fatigue. Hmmmm, my diary’s beginning to look a bit too medical orientated again…more fun stuff please!