Life update

Cancer update, Christmas and films

Welcome to my monthly news post, where this time we are looking back at what I did in December 2021. The post starts with a cancer update, then moves on to what we’ve been watching at the cinema and on TV, what we did for Christmas and then finishes with the other bits of news that are left to tell. 

Cancer update

December 8th I went to the hospital at 9 am for my operation. The first stop, was the nuclear medicine department for an injection of radiation that they can trace in the body to see which lymph nodes the cancer would be travelling should it have spread. I then had to go to the waiting area near to the theatre and await my time for my operation.

The waiting is the worst! I had to wait alone due to COVID rules so it was very isolating. I had a fantastic nurse who filled out my paperwork, gave me my gown and stockings and kept popping in to see how I was doing. My surgeon came in to see me and run through what was happening and then I was told to follow them into the theatre. 

The operation

It was very strange in there. I lay on the bed and there were about six or seven people all doing jobs. They were all very friendly and introduced themselves but it was an odd feeling. I had one person putting a drip in my hand while another was cleaning my forehead at the same time as another who was putting a mask over my face! Then one of the doctors told me to take some deep breaths and the next thing I know I’m being told to wake up and I am in a different room and the surgery is all done.

When waking up from the anaesthetic, it was very strange. Almost as if I was drunk! I remember the first thing I said is ‘I want to see my husband’ and the nurse said, ‘no, you are not allowed to see him yet.’ I had this urgent need to see him and I was saying that I needed my phone so I could call him! 

A complication

I was then taken to another room to recover with the idea of being able to go home in a couple of hours. However, there was a problem with how much oxygen I was taking in when breathing so I had to stay in overnight so that they could monitor me. Off we went to another ward, where I would be staying. I received excellent care while in hospital, I could not fault them but of course, no one wants to stay in hospital when they could be at home with their loved ones. 

I had a late-night chest x-ray and lots of blood taken. Despite the comings and goings of the nurses, I managed to sleep fairly well considering where I was and before I knew it, I was being told that I could go home. So at about 10 am I was in the arms of my hubby and oh my, did I need his hugs. 

Recovery

I had never been operated on before and I found it quite traumatic. I guess I am somewhat of a control freak and when under the anaesthetic you have no control at all. The recovery was not too bad at all, to be fair. I was all bandaged up and told not to take them off until my wound check ten days later. I couldn’t bath or shower as they have to be kept dry, so it was strip washing at the sink.

Luckily, I only needed a couple of normal painkillers the next day so I was relieved that it was not very painful. It took a bit of getting used to, managing the dogs who normally jump all over me! I was given some simple exercises to do that I made sure I did four times a day as I did not want any more complications.

The results

December 23rd, we had to go to the hospital to get the results of the operation. Unfortunately, it was not the news we had been hoping for. The cancer was found in a lymph node and is also spread into the surrounding tissue of the breast so I will need to have another operation. The operation is to remove the extra affected breast tissue and to remove more lymph nodes.

They also said that they have found something else that they have sent to Cambridge as they do not know what it is. There is now more of a chance that chemo may be needed as well. They said that I am booked in to have the operation on January 18th as that is the soonest that they could get.

Then on January 27th, I get the results of the operation and the results from the unknown sample that was sent to Cambridge. They said that we will know a lot more at that point and can make a plan to move forward. Not the news I wanted to hear two days before Christmas but it is what it is. 

What I’ve been watching

As always I give some info on the films that I have seen this month as I have a Cineworld unlimited card and try to go at least once a week. 

Cinema

Clifford the big red dog

A children’s film, I hear you say! No, not at all! It is actually a fantastic family feel-good movie that I enjoyed so much I am awarding it my movie of the month award! Of course, the fact that I am a dog obsessed mama may have a little to do with it! The dog seems so realistic, it’s amazing what they can do with effects now. The film stars Jack Whitehall, who I thought did a brilliant job, although it took me a while to get used to his American accent in the film! It was so funny, I really was laughing out loud! Great for when you need to smile. 

Popcorn with wording in the middle that says 'movie of the month' with five gold stars underneath.

Spider-Man: No way home

We had been waiting for this next instalment in the Marvel universe. Tom Holland is back as Spider-Man and this time he is unmasked! The movie is rated a 12A. It was a really good film. The storyline was great, it kept me interested the whole way through. I also loved the way they brought some of the other characters into this film, very nicely done. Definitely worth a watch. 

The Matrix Resurrections

The fourth film that has been long-awaited for many years. It is certificate 15 and stars the original stars of the first three movies, Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves. There is also a host of other stars in the movie too. This was not as good as I had been anticipating if I am honest. I think that you really need to watch the first three movies before going to see this as there is no reintroduction to the plot. I had watched them years ago but forgotten what it was all about, so I felt a bit lost at times in the film. 

The Kings man

The Kings man is the origin story of the previous kingsmen films that have been made. The film stars Gemma Arterton, Ralph Fiennes, Harris Dickinson, and Colin Firth amongst others and is rated certificate 15. I enjoyed this movie a lot, but it was much sadder than the previous movies and I did cry a lot. There was still some humour, just not as much as usual. I would still recommend you watch, just bring some tissues!

TV

I’m a celebrity

One of the very few celebrity reality type shows that I actually still watch. I think that as long as they make it and have Ant and Dec as hosts, I will be watching. I just really enjoy watching! Annoyed that Simon Gregson didn’t win though!

Hawk Eye

I have been watching this with Elliot on Disney+ and it was very good. I really hope that they make some more. It is another Marvel spin-off, this time focusing on the former Avenger, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner)  and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) a young woman who gets mixed up in some bad situations. There is a great moment when a bad guy from another series is revealed as the bad guy in this (I do love the Marvel crossovers) and as it is only a 12+ it is not nearly as dark as some of the other shows. 

Daredevil 

I have completely fallen down the Marvel rabbit hole so watched all three seasons of Daredevil this month! This one is available on Netflix and rated certificate 18. It is about a lawyer called Murdock who lost his sight when he was 12 but went on to develop other skills. He becomes a vigilante, trying to keep the streets safe. It is the darkest of all of the Marvel TV shows that I have watched (I’ve watched all of them now, apart from the punisher). However, it is also a good watch if you don’t mind the violence. 

Christmas

Christmas was lovely but much quieter than normal. It had been hard to focus on planning and celebrating as we would normally do while waiting for the results from the operation and then when we got the news that we didn’t want to hear, we kind of lost our enthusiasm for the festivities. On Christmas day, Lauren, James, Chloe and Keaton all came over and spent the day with us. We still had a nice big dinner and exchanged gifts and laughed lots. 

And the rest

New friend

I had been talking on and off with a lady called Claire on IG for a couple of years now and I finally managed to pluck up the courage to ask if she would like to grab a coffee one day. She comes to Ipswich now and again as she is in a long-distance relationship with someone in Ipswich. Anyway, Claire said Yes and long story short, I got to meet with her in person. It was lovely. I am so glad that I went as self-doubt tried to put me off from going! It was as if we had known each other for years! So lovely to have made a new friend. 

Date day full of food and films!

I and Darren treated ourselves to a day of movies and food on December 30th! We got up and went out for breakfast, then watched a film at the cinema. After the movie, we went out for lunch and we then went back to the cinema to watch a second movie! It was so nice, just the two of us. I think we needed that time together after all of the stress that we have been under lately. 

 

So, that brings me to the end of my news for December. I hope that you have enjoyed this monthly peek into our life. For those that have been following my health journey, there will be another cancer update next month.  

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