Actually I thought it would be just a little trip.
I woke up with a tender breast last month. Tender enough that I went to the doctor - which is pretty rare for me. I'd had a cyst in my breast for years, but it was soft, pliable and not a problem. This was something new.
Unfortunately it was pink ribbon day, so I couldn't get an appointment for a mammogram for over 2 weeks.
Monday - had mammogram.
Tuesday - doctor chasing me to get results. Says to make apptmt with specialist asap.
Wed - ring specialist, and she says come in for biopsy now. Does biopsy, waits for results, and congratulations, you have invasive malignant breast cancer.
Tuesday next week - lumpectomy.
I initially thought it was going to be a quick chop and zap: cut out the lump, zap it with 6 weeks of radiotherapy, over by Christmas, and back to normal life. Able to say that I'd 'had' breast cancer, but didn't have it any more.
And I could do my planned trip to see the Northern Lights in Feb/Mar - apparently its a 20 year peak for seeing them.
Then the results of the lumpectomy came in. Although the sentinal nodes were clear, one of the margins wasn't, so I'm waiting by the phone for the surgeon to confirm whether she'll go back in next week and chop a bit more off.
I was doing my exercises last week - possibly not as frequently as I should have been, and noticed that my breast was a bit tender, heavy and puffy.
Decided to go to the local doctor in the morning to see if it was normal. He said it was to be expected and not to worry, but I really did think it was puffy.
So at lunchtime Friday I nicked out of work, hopped on a bus to the Mater, and asked the breast care nurse to have a quick look.
Yes, it was a good sized seroma, which she drained and relieved the pressure. And back on the bus to work before lunch was over.
Now it's the weekend, and I'm super sensitive about my breast. I think it's getting puffy again, and I'm wondering whether I'll make it to Monday before needing another drain.
Am I going to be lucky and avoid a drain? How often do these things fill up?
The other downside is that the BCN said that they probably won't start the radiotherapy until January. If they chop more off next week, they'll wait 3 weeks for the scar to settle down, don't normally start radiotherapy over Christmas, so that will put it at a late Feb finish.
What are the odds that I'll be able to fly to Alaska to see the Northern Lights mid-to-late March?
At this rate (pity party) I'll probably get lymphoedema.
Sigh, definitely a journey, not a short trip.