Update on my eyes, boobs etc.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It never rains but it pours.

    I haven't actually posted separately about all of this. I did post about my breast cancer diagnosis, but I need to update there.

    The cancer was removed on Feb 26. The tumour was invasive, but slow-growing and hormone sensitive. The pathology said the doctor got it all and my chances of complete recovery are about 99% +. It was the size of an olive; the doctor took out about a golf ball in size.

    I started radiation treatment (25 treatments, over 6 weeks) in May and finished about 2 weeks ago. I found my skin blistering and breaking down in the last ten days or so of treatment; wet dressings for the last few days only, until a couple of days ago. I stopped wet-dressing it a couple of days ago and I'm now using essential oils and massage oil over the whole area. It's healing up well now, there might be a little scarring under the breast from the burns and I think my armpit will be permanently tanned, but its going great. My boob is now a bit smaller from the radiation, on top of the shrink factor from having some tissue removed - the radiation seems to do to breasts what heating in the oven does to shrinky dinks. When I see the doctor next month I'm going to get them to page the breast care nurses, to see if they have a breast form I can try out for size. But because I'm off wet dressings, I'm now back to wearing my maternity singlet top with built in shaped bra cups, as distinct form the tube top with shelf support (not a good look, with gauze dressings peeping out form every angle) so despite the reduction in size, I've got cleavage again.

    Then over the weekend in Canberra, my right eye started to play up. Large brown floaters plus lighting flashes indicated a need for urgent assessment. It's taken a few days with constant eye drops, but it seems I had another stage in vitreous humor separation (it's been going on for years apparently; nobody would explain when I saw doctors in the past) and this time it caused a small bleed behind the retina. But no separation as yet.

    I went back to see the eye surgeon today because I thought I saw something new - I suspect it wasn't new after all, it's just that I finally had a day in between getting my eyes dilated, and so I was at last able to see more junk in my eyes.

    I was told I shouldn't drive for three hours after getting drops in my eyes, so difficult child 3 was as happy as a pig in mud, to do the driving for me as a learner driver. I was able to see well enough to supervise, but I'm so tired from concentrating so hard!

    Hopefully there will be nothing more to worry about, no more appointments, until I see the eye doctor in two weeks.

    One more day of school holidays, then the weekend, then it's ease back into the next school term for difficult child 3. And his next assessment task! Oh, joy...

  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wow, Marg, you sure do carry a load. I'm glad the treatments are over and hope the follow-ups are a breeze. I've noticed recently that some of the sewing shops are carrying molded gel inserts - I don't suppose there's a chance those would be helpful? They were very reasonably priced.

    Your eye condition sounds a bit frightening. I hope that resolves quickly with no further problem...you've had more than your fair share.
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks for updating us Marg. I've been keeping up a bit on you in the morning threads, but didn't know about the eye issue. I hope it doesn't separate before you Dr is able to provide a resolution.

    Let us know how that assessment with difficult child goes~Hugs/
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Marg, that eye thing is scary. Glad they know what is going on and it is improving a bit.

    Happy healing in the boobage areas! LOL! So glad we can celebrate the healing of a burn!
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Marg...glad the boob part is at least seeming to be healing up. I still keep you in my thoughts and prayers. The eye thing really concerns me. My dad had something to do with his eye and it wasnt a torn retina. It had to do with a blood vessel coming out somehow. I dont really know much about it because it was another one of those "conditions" they didnt tell me about!
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    The eye situation must be scary! Take it slowly and cautiously....especially if you need to drive (or even supervise)

    Glad to hear the cancer treatment and recovery are going well!

    Feel better soon!
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Wow, shrinkage from the radiation! Maybe it melts the fat tissue? I could use a breast reduction... maybe one day they'll perfect a version that does not involve the knife.

    Glad that you're past the wet dressing stage, that had to have been uncomfortable and a hassle to deal with. I hope your next exam results in a status completely clean of cancer.

    Floaters are annoying -- I have several that have become more noticeable in recent years. But I would be very alarmed about the eye bleeds and separation issues... I sure hope this is not something that continues to progress with you.
  8. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Hugs Marg. Hope they can clear up the eye thing and your boobs fill out your support garments again. : )
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Marg, the shrinkage and firmness isn't permanent. Trust me. been there done that. :sad-very:
    You won't know what you "really" look like for about 2 yrs from now.
    Meanwhile, just make yourself comfortable and do what you have to do.

    I'm sorry about the floaters. Did you receive a blow to the head or is this spontaneous? Any family history? Sounds like you were seen quickly, which is very important.

    Thank you for the update. Stay healthy!!!
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Thanks, Terry. Another reason to not rush into reconstructive surgery.

    The eye problem is spontaneous, probably due to a combination of age and my extreme short-sightedness. As for family history - I'm by far the most short-sighted in my family. My great-aunt was also very short-sighed but I don't think she had this problem or I'm sure I would have heard of it. She had cataracts operated on when she was 95. She was my mothers aunt, died a couple of weeks before my mother did. I have nobody I can ask.

    I remember my mother telling me about her very short-sighted younger sister who was allegedly going to go blind very young, due to "hardening of the muscles behind the eyes". Although as far as I understand, that is nonsense (and what patients got told back in the 1930s was a long way short of the truth) I'm wondering if she also was having early separation of the vitreous humor in her eyes, as I now realise I was having at age 20. Back then there would have been no laser surgery, nothing they could do about a detaching retina, and the separation of the vitreous humor is often followed by a retinal detachment. My aunt died during WWII at the age of about 25. She was post-op from a routine appendicectomy and got peritonitis - and the only penicillin available then was for the troops. She'd only been married a few months. My mother never got over it.

    There is nobody left alive in our family in the older generation. I'm the youngest of my generation.

    I keep wanting to clean my glasses...

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm sorry to hear that you are now battling another health issue. The main thing is that the cancer issue is now a thing of the past. The eye problem sounds both annoying and painful though. I hope they can do something for this quickly.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I've seen your pictures from your daughters wedding.....and I've seen your cleavage. (stop)
    While I have no doubt of the validity of your cancer - I have serious doubts of you getting a boob in a shrinky dink oven. (about the size of an easy bake oven). Further more. Why would one put a boob IN an easy bake oven size container? (S&M) comes to mind. But then again you Aussies are so innovative, and us Yanks would probably just stick with a Queen Latifa breast reducer bra. How clever you are! :smug:

    So in closing I have questions? What watt bulb was used? How long do you set the timer to obtain the desired reduction? Is this a one-shot bake or does it require multiple bakes like some cheese cake recipies? What type of gauze is used for the 'obvious' wet dressings that you must endure from the burns sustained from the lightbulb burns? Are you using the new eco-green friendly bulbs (looks like a Shirley Temple curl) or is this a specialty bulb you could not get at a hardware store? Is there a larger Shrinky-Dink oven for larger boobs? (present company excluded - speaking only of apendages) ;)

    Glad to hear you are feeling better. I have floaters. I mean EYE floaters. I've been told there is nothing that can be done for them other than to tolerate them. There are some exercises that can be done to strenghten your eye muscles that helped me, but like a leaf blown from it's branch on a lovely Autumn day that finds it's way to a winding brook and streams along with the current to the vast ocean -...Where was I?:confused: Oh ......yeah. The thing just floats.

    Hugs & Love
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We do shrinky dinks in a standard oven. The oven we used to have at church was big enough for easy child 2/difficult child 2 to climb inside with a scrubbing brush at a church working bee, when she was about 6 years old. No, I wasn't tempted to turn it on, but I think someone did suggest it... she was already small enough.

    I doubt the bulbs used in the radiation treatment were environmentally friendly...

    Before the cancer and before I lost the weight, I still hated minimiser bras. I don't even like the concept. I figure, if you've got it, flaunt it. I loved my sheepdog bra ("round them up and point them in the right direction"). husband says I just have a slightly smaller flock now...

    Gauze for wet dressings - I think the gauze was plastic of some kind, impregnated with glycerin (or similar). I just squeezed some dressings gel onto it and let the gel glue the dressing on, then covered it with gauze. I've still got some blisters and some folliculitis - blast! So there may be a return to wet dressings.

    The floaters - I was told that hopefully my new dark floaters could fade or shrink. I hope so! I find myself constantly cleaning my glasses, trying to get rid of the smears and specks on the specs - but it's in my eye. Very frustrating.

    Some of my floaters are old friends. There is one like a piece of sago that always used to get in the way when as a kid I was looking down my microscope. But these ones are really big. If you hold your thumb six inches in front of your face, my biggest floater is the size your thumbnail would appear at that distance.

    I hate to think how strengthening my eye muscles would go - it's those muscles pulling on the eyeball that have aggravated the problem of a thinned and stressed retina due to extreme myopia.

    Current health problems - I spent yesterday in another hospital emergency department, due to a fever from a bad cold or flu. Because of the recent radiation treatment, they got me onto antibiotics fast, gave me the first dose via i.v.

    I want this to all stop! I want a chance to get better!

  14. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Marg, you really do have a lot on your plate lately medically (understatement). Every time I read your postings I get out of breath just trying to keep up with all your activities. I know a lot of people depend on you for a lot of things, and in my opinion you are the nearest thing to Superwoman that I have ever come across. But it seems to me that in order for your body to recover physically from everything it is going through, your body needs as much physical rest as possible, which would mean cutting out everything except doctors' visits for yourself. I apologise in advance for giving you advice that you haven't asked for, but I am truly concerned about you.

    Love, Esther
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    OMG (snort) Hansel and Gretel.....ROFLm easy bake off.......
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It was a very big oven... the sight of that little kid inside the oven on hands and knees wielding a big scrubbing brush - a riot! I'm sure she was thinking about classic fairy tales as she did it, she was a very bright, well-read kid at that age. Seriously - she did a great job on it and nobody before or since ever got that oven so clean.

    About two years ago they bought a newer, smaller oven. Anyway, easy child 2/difficult child 2 wouldn't fit in it these days. Although she looks a lot more like the witch in those stories.

    Esther, it's OK, no offence taken or anything. I have been taking things as easily as I could, as soon as I could. I've been doing any posts I make here, on my laptop from bed. I've even backed out of going to mother in law's for dinner for the last three nights. I've got an appointment with my GP on Tuesday afternoon, I'm hoping I'm well enough to get myself there. I have a physio appointment tomorrow; I'm thinking of cancelling.

  17. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Marg, sweetie, sorry I'm so late. Know that you are in my daily thoughts (okay when I can remember my daily thoughts :bigsmile: ~ memory is a bit wonky of late.)

  18. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Marge, glad to hear you are doing well. I wonder if the treatments sort of caused the eye thing to speed up and caused the flare up.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I was told the eye thing was pure coincidence. Bending over rummaging for vegetables to put in with the roast dinner, did not do it. exerting extra force to try and cut the pumpkin with a blunt knife didn't do it. It just happened.

    If only I could convince mother in law - she keeps saying," You were doing too much. You shouldn't have been coming down to have dinner with me every night, going out in the cold," etc

    I got that again today - mother in law saying that coming out on a cold night (Sunday) to have dinner with her made my cold worse. But it is no worse. It's just not better.

    I drove out again yesterday to see my GP - I got a phone call, "We have a cancellation, we can fit you in, in an hour." It takes half an hour at least to drive there. I also suspected that when I told her that at the hospital they had said, "If the fever doesn't get better, come back and we will admit you, she would send me back to the hospital. Which she did. She also said, "If they discharge you again, then come back to see me in two days and I will monitor this. Someone has to."
    I made the appointment just in case, since I suspected the hospital would discharge me. And they did.

    Yes, my current chest infection could be related to the radiation treatment. I rang my GP this morning to leave a message - they did not admit me to hospital yesterday as she requested, instead they poured in some more antibiotics then sent me home, after first saying, "yes, of course we will admit you."

    mother in law was also saying to me this morning, "You shouldn't have driven yourself out yesterday."
    Yeah, I know that. But sis-in-law had plenty of opportunity to offer to drive me. I asked last time, and she said no, but of course she would any other time. I wasn't going to ask this time. Besides, I had about 15 minutes' notice to get going. No time to organise anyone else. I'd had time for one phone call, and I rang mother in law & sis-in-law. If she wasn't going to offer, I wasn't going to ask.

    This morning a friend scolded me for not calling her - she's e friend who drove me out to the eye doctor last Monday. But she has classes to teach on a Monday night, I didn't want to drag her out two Mondays in a row.

    So I'm sitting here waiting to her back from the doctor, about to call back friend whose call this morning got interrupted. The electrician has been (he worked outside and dealt with difficult child 3, sending messages in - husband told him I was sick and needing to rest. Really sweet of them.

    I'm worried this is another dose of whooping cough. I'm going to go back to wearing my tight denim vest, if my post-surgery boob can cope with the pressure. But Im getting pain where I broke my rib last year from coughing. Not happy! All of you who have not had immunisations since childhood - get your titres checked NOW! Or failing that, go get your boosters. You don't want whooping cough. It's nasty. I can understand why people die.

  20. ML

    ML Guest

    I really hope you can recover and heal from all everything you're going through, Marg. Prayers are ongoing from the ML household.