Run and Done?

Dermot and I were called in, and we sat down, nervous and excited, ready to hear the good news. And we did. We heard that the chemo had melted away the ductal cancer in my breast. If you remember, way back at the beginning, my initial biopsy showed both ductal and lobular cancers, which come from the breast milk ducts and lobules respectively. Great!

And then things suddenly got a whole lot worse. Read More…

Post-op recovery

It was now time to find out exactly what my patients go through after I've operated on them. I must admit to being a huge mixed bag of emotions. I had survived the anaesthetic, and the cancer was out, and all I had to do was get through the radiotherapy. But would it really be that simple? The after-effects of chemo had all but gone, apart from my poor nails, and the residual altered taste, which was slowly improving.
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Mastectomy time

The time had come. After months of indecision about what type of mastectomy I wanted, it was time to go to hospital. The alarm went off at the crack of dawn and Dermot and I nervously got up and got dressed. We were both ready for the bike leg of my breast cancer triathlon.
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Twas the night before surgery

So chemo is over, and I've had a month to get ready for my surgery. It's a very strange place to be - wondering whether I've made the right decision about what operation to have, and still not believing that chemo is finally over. The side effects were slowly wearing off, and my taste was getting back to normal. Sadly, tea tasted awful, and I really missed the routine and ritual of making tea, and Dermot bringing me a cup of tea in the morning.
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Decisions, decisions

Helping a patient decide whether to have a reconstruction following a mastectomy can be incredibly challenging, for a variety of reasons. There are things that the patient can control, and those she can't. As a breast surgeon, making a decision for myself was a particular challenge.

There are two main types of reconstruction. One is to use an implant to replace the breast tissue. The other is to use a woman's own tissue, for example, a muscle on her back (LD flap) or inner thigh (TUG flap), or the fat on the lower part of her tummy (DIEP flap), sometimes combined with an implant. Read More…
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