Breaking the silence

p1010448 (1)It’s been a while since I last shared anything here and I feel I need to explain why. In October I made a doctor’s appointment about a persistent breast lump. I’m used to others coming and going but this one didn’t. Although the GP (family doctor) was fairly confident that it waa a benign cyst he referred me anyway, just to be sure. He was right; however, mammograms at the breast clinic two weeks later showed microcalcifications in another area of the same breast. I understand that these can be part of the natural ageing process, but sometimes they’re a warning sign of early cancer-related changes. After another two weeks, I had a biopsy, followed by lots of bruises and another two week wait for the results.

My Mum came with me and helped me hold things together when I was told that in my case, some changes had showed up and that I was showing signs of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). The good news is that it is usually contained and hasn’t necessarily reached a stage when it becomes dangerous. However, it’s likely that it would if left alone…

I was immediately presented with my options for surgery and all three were pretty unpleasant. A few days of reflecting led me to opt for a single mastectomy without immediate reconstruction. This reduces the likelihood of needing radiotherapy (which would have been recommended with breast conserving surgery) and should allow me to recover as quickly as possible. That is due to happen this week.

I’m scared but hopeful. It’s likely to be treatable, even curable, but I’ll have to live with a changed body for the rest of my days at the very least. It’s my faith in God and my hope in Him that is keeping me going. My hope is that somehow He would be glorified in all of this, although it’s hard to see that just now. Friends and family have been wonderful in supporting, loving and praying for me and with me.

Sewing has been helping too. I’ve made pyjamas, two bras and four heart shaped cushions – one for me and three for friends who are also facing breast surgery soon. Learning to sew pockets into bras for a prosthesis has been a good test of my skills and will help me offer support to others.

I’ll share a few pictures of my bra sewing in progress and leave it at this for now. Once I’m recovering I’ll be back to tell you more about how things are going. Don’t be afraid for me, but please be aware if your own body, whatever shape it may take, and if something makes you feel uncertain, get it checked!

Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year.

Heart cushions for post surgery comfirtAdding a front fastening to an Emerald Erin JorftJordy Bralette adapted to take a breastformAdapted Evie la Luve

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15 thoughts on “Breaking the silence

  1. I’m glad you’re talking about it. From my own experience, I’d suggest it’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to have days (or hours or just moments) where you’re feeling angry or upset or relieved or happy. It’s ok whatever you’re feeling. My heart goes out to you and sending you strength, resolve, resilience and joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I’m definitely not ok today but the nurse who called to confirm my admission was so lovely and I was able to talk about some of my fears. I don’t have the strength in myself for this but I know I don’t have to.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ellie, the bras are beautiful! I didn’t know you had made some! I think the way you are sewing your way through it is wonderful. I am so proud of your bravery and strength. I cling onto the fact that it has been caught early, is treatable and is not life threatening. But I know the surgery, recovery and changes to your body must be hugely scary. Please remember that you are not alone – that you are surrounded by so many of us who love you (and Mr. and the Misses T.). I know I haven’t been there so I can’t truly, properly relate other than having lived through it with Mum, but we know other people like her who have made/are making the same journey, so I hope talking to/thinking about them gives you additional strength and a feeling of solidarity. We four love you deeply A, T, M & C XXxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you sis. I’m hitting the scared stage now as the reality starts to sink in, but I know it’s looking promising and that I’m very fortunate. Finding creative solutions does help take some of the stress out of it and Mum has been amazing. Thank you for all your love and support. xx

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  3. Eleanor dear, it is so amazing and inspiring that at this difficult time you always think how you can help others and you share your experience and your talent. It just shows that you have a true heart ā¤ļø of gold. I am so proud to be your friend and I wish you perfect health. Good luck with the surgery my dear ! I am waiting for a hopefull post-surgery post !!! šŸ¦„šŸŒˆšŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Thinking ahead | nelnanandnora

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