This is it. The night before surgery. It's fair to say one is shitting one's pants.
There's a bunch of stuff I want to say here before I let them at me with the knife....
Thank you NHS!
First of all, in advance, and for the record, a massive thank you to the NHS and its wonderful staff who will be looking after me over the next week. Throughout all of my cancer treatment to date I have had nothing but good experiences of the NHS. My life is being saved, and not only that but I am being treated by all NHS staff involved with so much care, kindness, compassion and reassurance. I'm so, so grateful. I've heard only great things about the staff on the ward who will be taking care of me after surgery - I will probably be in hospital for 5 or 6 nights. It makes me feel much less anxious about what is about to be my first ever stay in hospital. The man who gave me my official cancer diagnosis almost 6 months ago is the man who'll be doing my surgery tomorrow and I trust him 100% - to get rid of the cancer, to get rid of the bits at risk of cancer, and to fix me up again real nice!
I'm lucky to be living in the UK where I have access to such fantastic doctors and treatments through our life saving National Health Service. The way the Tories are systematically dismantling it both breaks my heart and makes me very angry. I hope they don't win the election in May because if they do, within the next 5 years the NHS I, and you, know and depend on will be gone forever. (Peeps, please use your vote in May and use it wisely.)
Thank you to my friends
A massive thank you again to my wonderful friends. I've been made to feel very special this week. Thank you for the messages, the cards and flowers, the food and drinks. A special thank you to Rosie and Amy for the incredibly thoughtful surgery/hospital/recovery survival packs they put together for me. I'm really touched!
Thank you in advance to the team of my friends who are looking after me after surgery. Charlotte, Emily, Helen, Lucy, Marta, Rachel. Again, it makes me feel so much less anxious about all of this knowing you'll be around! And thank you to Glen who will be taking care of Bonnie while I've got dog-unfriendly drains hanging out of me, just waiting to leak disgusting bodily fluids all over the place.
Thank you to my fellow YBCN superwomen
It's thanks to all of you that I will be turning up to the hospital knowing what to expect and being prepared. I'll have the right knickers, and the right bras! I'm ready for the sauna of a side room they're putting me in and have appropriate things to wear to keep the sweating-like-a-pig to a minimum. I've got custard creams and squash, earplugs and an eye mask, a bag for my drains and some dry shampoo. Packing my bag made me feel like I was going on a very strange holiday! It's nice to know that I've got the right stuff, based on your experience and wisdom.
It's a bit exciting!
I feel like getting tomorrow done is another massive milestone. Cancer treatment is a long slog. I like to think chemo is the worst (cos that's the bit I've done) and that this first surgery is the second worst (cos that's the next bit that's about to be done). After that there is still 3 weeks of radiotherapy (but my ''cancer friends" who've done it already assure me that's a piece of piss), and then later this year I'll be having more surgery (preventive - lob off t'other boob and replace it with a nice, safe, cancer-risk-free implant) and more surgery (chop out those evil ovaries). But those surgeries in theory are much nicer and easier than the one I'm having tomorrow. (Did I share the gory details of that already? I can't remember. If you don't like weird/gross stuff don't read this next bit. My surgeon is scooping out all the tissue under the skin of my cancery boob and then taking some muscle from my back and swinging it round to my front to replace the tissue removed. Then he's taking out 20-30 of the lymph nodes under my arm. Clever stuff.) I'll also be on some sort of drugs for the next ten years to hopefullyfingerscrossedtouchwood stop the cancer returning.
Sooooo.... there's still a bunch of stuff to go. BUT! It's a bit exciting now because once I am recovered from this surgery I can get some semblance of normality back. I can go back to work! In the office! Genuinely excited! I can start running again and finally join the running club. I can go back to my book group (I love what the organiser said to me in an email the other day about me going back as soon as I'm well because "we need all the verbal contributors we can get. It's no fun arguing with myself." Haha! I do enjoy the arguments.) And so on, and so on. No more waiting for Week 3. Every week can be a Week 3. CAN'T WAIT.
Wish me luck!
So, this is it! See you on the other side peeps.