Friday, July 29, 2011

Good News!

Well, I've been busy this week with hospital visits! I went to St Vincents on Monday for testing before I can start PUVA.  Basically I had to lie in a bath of a liquid called Psoralen for 10 minutes so that my skin will absorb more UV light.  Then I was taken into a room where a nurse put a sheet on my back with 8 'windows' in it and she done the UV test on me which involved a 'window' being closed every 10 seconds or so.  My skin was marked with dots to show where I was exposed to the light and I was told to come back at the same time Thursday so they could have a look at my skin and see if it burnt or anything and then they could find my starting time for the UV light from the test.
After I was finished I called upstairs to the breast care nurses and told them that I had been turned down for genetic testing and that I'd like to see my breast surgeon, Ms Rothwell, about lifting my other boob to match my bionic one!  So, they told me to come up when I was finished in the Dermatology dept on Thursday which was great as you could be waiting months for an appointment sometimes!

Thursday came and I took a quick trip into the city centre for some new net curtains before coming back to the hospital to start my treatment.  I got changed into my dressing gown and flip flops and went into the examination room.  The nurses (who are all LOVELY by the way!) checked out my back and although I didn't think I had burned at all, they noticed that the skin on a couple of the squares was a bit red.  They then decided that my starting time on the UV machine (which looks just like a stand up sunbed) would be 15 SECONDS!! I know it doesn't sound like much but I can actually see a bit of difference in my skin already! The flakes will go first, then the redness will start to disappear so hopefully it'll be fairly clear in a couple of months!  You can't wear makeup, perfume or deodorant before your treatment so it was fairly daunting going out into the world without my eyebrows filled in or wearing at least mascara and eyeliner!  I wore a hat yesterday and will be wearing one from now on!

When I was finished I went upstairs to see Ms Rothwell (who is the surgeon that done my mastectomy and reconstruction last year) and explained to her that I had been turned down for genetic testing as I had no family history of breast cancer and that I would like to proceed with my other boob job.  She said that there was probably about a 10% chance of my having the BCRA-1 or 2 gene but that she would refer me to a gynaecologist in Holles St so they could keep an eye on me as if I did have the gene there would be a 50% chance of me getting ovarian cancer (it also gives you a whopping 85% chance of getting breast cancer).  She examined me and said that there wasn't an awful lot of difference in my boobs but that because I'm so young she would refer me to a cosmetic surgeon and she said that he will give me an implant (so I haven't got one soft boob and one hard one!) and bring me up a cup size too!  She also said that I will be able to get a reconstruction on my nipple which involves twisting a piece of skin into a nipple shape and then they tattoo the colour onto it for you!  Hopefully I'll have it all done before christmas!  Ms Rothwell was very happy with me overall and I gave her a big hug when I was leaving and thanked her for saving my life!

So I've lots to look forward to!  The thought of another operation doesn't bother me at all, I'm well used to it now!  If I can get my skin cleared up I'll be delighted and if I have 2 boobs that more or less match then I'll be over the moon altogether!!

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