Milestone: See ya later Cancer!

Hello wonderful people in my life, 
 
I hope this update finds you all well.
 
I got the results of my surgery back on Tuesday and I am so pleased to let you all know that I no longer have cancer!
I’m feeling glad that it’s been removed but I am also feeling a bit surreal and somewhat bittersweet. I feel like I really can’t get fully excited until I go through radiation and complete the course of Herceptin (Drug for HER2+ Breast Cancer) which will take me through to October. 
 
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Due to the cancer travelling into my lymphnodes I am having to have a CT scan just to make sure there is no more spread and this is mainly to check that my bones are also clear of any disease. Because I opted not to have my lymph nodes removed (Axillary Clearance) I now have to have radiation to my breast and armpit. I will be getting organised to start radiation in about three weeks. Watch this space. 
 
It’s coming up 2 months since I had my last round of Chemotherapy. My hair seems as if it is coming back in full force and it feels like it is growing a little bit on a daily basis! It’s pretty thick and furry! So glad about that. Eyebrows are growing too, eyelashes are going to take a while I think and are still not ready for mascara. Unfortunately I think I am going to go back to shaving and waxing pretty soon…..hairy legs and armpits, pubic hair is back too. BOO!
 
I have recovered pretty well from surgery. Dr Tan my surgeon is happy with how I am healing although the edge of my nipple looks like a tiny shark had attacked it! I didn’t get as much bruising as I thought I would and have been taking Arnica religiously so that has probably helped. Its still a bit sore but I have not been taking pain killers because they seem to make me really constipated (sorry!) and going to the toilet is really painful. The anesthetic from the surgery also contributes to this also so trying to manage it by drinking plenty of water and taking laxatives….. 
 
So my finger nails are a bit funky at the moment. I am currently on antibiotics because I have a fungal infection under my nails. Its really grose and quite weepy and there has been a bit of puss. My nails are a bit tender. I had my nails repainted a week ago and the nails were quite brown and discoloured where the paint had been. A couple were also bruised and slightly black. The new nail has grown back quite bumpy and is quite ridged and indented. Chemotherapy specifically attacks fast growing cells in the body including those that support hair and nail growth so this is why I have lost all my hair and I am now having issues with my nails. A lot of people have both their fingernails and toe nails fall off during and after chemo. I hope mine don’t fall off!!!
 
Since my last update life has been pretty busy. I’ve been working pretty hard which has been great. I’ve been to some really nice schools close to home but this week I’m travelling a bit further. The tube strikes were super annoying! According to the news a good portion of England has had a lot of rain and there has been  wide spread flooding. Not in London! It’s cold but the rain has been reasonably minimal and the days have even had sunshine and blue sky. It’s not the winter I was expecting! Glad to see too that the days are starting to get longer. 
 
Catherine and I celebrated Australia Day in onesies. We went to Infernos in Clapham (a really seedy overpriced night club) in the middle of the day. I was a dinosaur and Catherine went as a crocodile. I was the only dinosaur that was there so that was good. I just wear it at home now….so warm!
 
Got together with the girls for another Waitangi day pub crawl. This year we spent a bit of time putting costumes together to become the “Colour Song” from our childhoods. The song is in both english and te reo maori so you can learn the colours and vowels in New Zealands native language. Ma is White, Whero is Red, Kakariki Green, Pango is Black, Mango is too. AEIOU. Kowhai Yellow, Paraka Brown, Kikorangi Blue, Parakaraka is our Orange. AEIOU. 
 
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On the day that I found out the cancer was gone we had a drink and little dinner to celebrate and went to see the musical Billy Elliott which was great fun and the dancing on stage was fantastic. Thanks to Imogen, Kate, Catherine, Ally and Sarah for all being there to share a toast in my cancer war victory!

A massive thank you to Kirsten for sending me flowers after my surgery and Sarah Jane for sending me flowers after being cleared. What amazing friends you both are.

Tomorrow I am off to Paris for 5 days so looking forward to seeing another city of Europe and experiencing some French culture. Yeay school holidays!!!

Love and hugs,

Jess xxxx

 
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