First Step Meet the Surgeon!

Prior to my appointment with the surgeon I had my regular CF checkup, very handy I thought as I could gauge from my CF Team where they thought my health was tracking and if I required surgery within the next few weeks would that be a possibility or whether they felt that I would first require some treatment to ensure my lungs were in the best possible condition. I was given the ok. My lung function was at 60% which was great as it had been the first time we were able to complete lung function for quite a few months due to my repeated pneumothorax (punctured lung), my weight was stable and oxygen levels as always 98%. I knew my CF Team were on board with anything that was going to happen next, I just hoped the surgeon was open to working with the team. Two days later and we were off to meet with the surgeon. Walking into his office we were feeling very nervous, I had no idea what to expect and in talking with my husband we felt that everything was moving so quickly and it was quite hard to take all of that in. In reality I don’t think we had really processed the diagnosis let alone taking in what the next steps would be. The appointment was a whirlwind of information, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, mastectomies, hormone treatment, genetic testing so many things to think about and to discuss. It was extremely confusing and very overwhelming! I’m usually fairly level headed and can take most information and get the best out of it! This was all too much for even me to process. Whilst we left with a date for surgery to have the tumour removed, a lymph node biopsy and due to CF I’d managed to sneak in my hernia that would require surgery as well, we didn’t really leave with a clear plan. Brett and I spent so much time going over and over the information given, worrying about what was to come and even having doubts in the confidence of the surgeon. He had never treated anyone with CF before, and we didn’t feel that he felt CF was as much as a priority as having the tumour removed. Both were in fact of high importance and I’d hoped that he was going to keep his word on contacting my CF Team to get further information from them that could be relevant to surgery and aftercare and ensuring my lungs aren’t dramatically affected. He was also going to touch base with radiation and oncologist specialists to gain information as to whether any of these treatments would be an option for me should they be required once we had results back from the surgery. Surgery would be in 2 weeks time and the next weeks were full on, in the fact that we were constantly researching different treatment options, outcomes, wondering wether we should get a second opinion. Just going through the motions I’m guessing. Fortunately prior to surgery happening I had another appointment with the surgeon to run through everything. He had followed up as he said and we left that appointment feeling a little more confident in him and what was to happen. However I wasn’t looking forward to surgery day. I was to start the day at Calvary hospital nuclear medicine where they would use a needle to put dye in my nipple in order to find primary lymph nodes. A needle in my nipple?. I do not like needles at the best of times let alone in my nipple!. Then I had to get to women’s imaging where they would place a guide wire into my chest to identify the tumour and make it easier for the surgeon to remove, this procedure would be a lot like having the original biopsy. Then I would need to present at Hobart Private to have the operation. Being the sook that I am with needles I was dreading getting to the next week!. The best part was that it was still a week away so I could concentrate on getting back to a little normality and try to forget a little for that week that things were significantly different for me/us right now.


June 19, 2017 at 6:13 pm

Hang in there Monnie and Brett, it will all be worth it in the end. Needles and wire will be a distant memory and a good war story 12 months from now.
We’re all right behind you 110% xx

June 19, 2017 at 10:23 pm

Sending u ❤️💋💪💪🤗🤗thoughts xxx

Helen mccullagh
June 29, 2017 at 5:34 pm


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