I started documenting my experience with DCIS on Twitter in January this year. It was good for a while: when my brain was like jelly, I could just about manage 140 characters to nail what was important to me at the time. Now I'm ready to start writing about it in full, I've decided to bring the DCIS experience to my blog, and keep my tweeting DCIS-free. Of course, my experience is far from over: I look down at my breast today and it's not pretty; I see an angry, red, scar-ridden chest and, while I feel fortunate to have had my particular shade of breast disease caught early, I struggle with feeling grateful when I look at it. I thought I'd share those diary tweets here, because they show an emotional transition, even in those few entries, and it's important to me to to capture the emotional side of DCIS in the article I'm researching.
11:14 AM Jan 20th via web
Face like clay. Red and grey stripes from the neck down. 3 red fleshy buttons on my chest. Radioactive blue pee. Lymph node culling.
9:29 AM Jan 25th via web
Going to take my bandages to the practice nurse so she can inspect my lymph surgery wound and re-dress it. This is the life!
11:17 AM Jan 25th via web
I love the NHS. Got co-codamol and gastro protective tabs & a pre-op blood test to check for infection. Wouldn't have been better in the US.
8:23 PM Jan 26th via web
Notes from a DCIS patient #3: Lovely lump the size of a ping-pong ball under my arm. Senoma? Seroma? Sedona? Hmm - no, that's Arizona.
10:33 PM Feb 6th via web
Notes from a mastectomy patient #4: Tangerine Dream: the name of the cloth bag in which I carry my blue plastic blood-draining concertina.
8:52 AM Feb 17th via web
Notes from a mastectomy patient #5: swapping mobile numbers with your oncoplastic surgeon exacerbates the Florence Nightingale effect.
9:36 PM Feb 17th via web
Mastectomy Notes #6: strange to see a scalpel coming towards your necrotic breast and feel - nothing, despite the enormous hole left behind.
1:05 AM Feb 18th via web
Mastectomy Notes#7: Shouldn't have looked up my breast necrosis on wikipedia. Thankfully, the therapy involves manuka honey, not maggots.
4:21 PM Feb 27th via web
Mastectomy Notes #8: Busy persuading pharmacists that manuka honey is prescribable via a call to the British Pharmacalogical Society.
10:25 PM Mar 27th via web
Mastectomy Notes #9: It ain't over till the surgeon sings.
9:04 AM Mar 28th via web
Mastectomy Notes #10: Sometimes the twee pink grates, but no-one can say it doesn't do its job: http://bit.ly/ci05ZU (Thanks #aboutthegirl)
11:27 AM Mar 28th via web
Mastectomy Notes #11: What do men with breast cancer think of the pink ribbon?
7:06 PM Apr 13th via web
Mastectomy Notes #12: Two months in, I'm starting to feel the trauma - a bit like getting sensation back in the skin, only it's my brain.
9:21 AM Apr 24th via web
More Mastectomy Notes, #13: as the dressings come off, there's no denying the facts. Having a rebuilt breast is emotionally weird.