Thursday 22nd June 2017

Well the last few months have been crazy! Someone up there is sure throwing stuff at my family! So here’s the update…..

So just to recap…. my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer in April. She is doing well and was caught early so she’s had a double mastectomy and reconstruction and is lucky enough not to have to go through chemo or radiotherapy. Couldn’t ask for better news!

Keep checking those boobies girls! Early diagnosis is crucial and remember sometimes there isn’t anything visible like me, so go with your gut feeling and don’t hang around getting checked. These lemons are a great guide!

Because of my cousin, my consultants decided to delay my surgery and await further genetic testing as 4 out of 6 of us had now been diagnosed with breast cancer! I have already had BRCA testing and the results were negative. This time I had PALB2 testing and I found out last week that this is negative. Again, brilliant news for my family – especially Freya.

We needed to wait as if the cancer had been genetic then my ‘good’ boob would need to be removed too and if this had been the case my tummy tissue would have needed to be shared between the two. As I have said in the past, if it was my choice alone I would opt to have had both removed as a precaution.  Unfortunately, under North Essex it’s not the hospitals policy to do this unless the cancer is found to be genetic.  But it would have been silly to go through such big surgery without finding out first.

Anyway, today we had an appointment to see my Breast Consultant – Dr Liptay-Wagner and he has booked my surgery to be on Tuesday 11th July with Dr Matt Griffiths – my plastic surgeon.  That’s in 3 weeks! This will now be the original surgery plan – which is to remove the implant and the capsule and replace with my tummy fat on the right side only.  Then at a later date when the new (hopefully less painful boob) has settled and been tweaked etc, I will then have ‘symmetry surgery’ on the left side to even up.  As my tummy won’t be needed for this surgery, as the breast tissue will not need to be removed now, it makes much more sense to do at a later date.  This should reduce recovery time for me too.

So what else has happened you ask?

Only that Phil got made redundant! OMG! What a shock – RBS literally shut London office apart from some skeleton staff.  The saying “it never rains but it pours” springs to mind!  But we can do this! We are a strong family and we’ve been through worse.  So things have been busy here building a plan of action! And the other saying “every cloud has a silver lining” comes to mind too! I have focusing on this one more!

Firstly I’ve been trying to work some extra hours as I finish for the summer tomorrow!  I am tired! But this warm weather eases my bone and joint pain a little so I’m finding I have a bit more energy.

Another big positive is that I got to see my students through to the end of the year. Here’s a few pictures of their end of year Art exhibition…..


It has also been very sad as my friends in the Art, Fashion, Photography and Music departments are relocating to Colchester.  Unfortunately I won’t be relocating with them at this point – maybe in the future, who knows.  But at the moment I need, and want to stay in Braintree Campus.  So who knows where I’ll be supporting in September.  Maybe bricklaying? or engineering? or evening with the electricians? The main thing is this gives me a focus to heal and mend after surgery to get back to work in September.

It also means that we won’t be getting away on a holiday but maybe at a later date, we shall see. Will give us something to aim and look forward to in the future.

So plan for Phil?  He doesn’t want to return to office work! At first I thought OMG! How are we going to afford to live, feed the forever hungry family, pay the mortgage etc etc.  But then I calmed down and thought the most important thing is that my husband is happy! Happiness is important as hopefully it will help to keep him healthy too! His health is very important now.

So he’s starting a few new ventures.  I’ll inform you more as they happen but to start with he will be freelancing in odd jobs to see what he actually enjoys and wants to do…. lawn mowing, bicycle repairs and servicing, car washing and valeting (have you seen how sparkly our cars always are!), house clearance or taking to charity, setting up new computers for people or advice etc etc or just an extra hand to build a shed or whatever!  He’s very useful and I’ve decided to rent him out for the summer and share him with you all!!! ha ha!

Please checkout his Facebook page “Holiday Help” and share for him…….

Over the summer this will also work well with Freya’s Animal Holiday Hotel and Care business.  That’s how he came up with the idea.  So many people go on holidays over the next few months.  Freya has quite a few bookings already.  But we always go along to help her out – especially with the multiple animal feeding and quite often the grass and garden get overgrown or need watering or odd jobs could be done.  This way people come home to a lovely garden and home and happy animals too! It means that I most probably won’t be able to help out much this year – who knows but at least Phil will be about now.

Our family life is important and I hated it when Phil had to work such long hours in London or travelling when the boys were little. I appreciate how hard it is as a single parent as I might as well have been then.  He’s been lucky that he’s been able to work from home all these years and especially while I’ve been sick but it would be unlikely in a new job if he stayed in IT.  We may never have lots of money but at least we’ll be rich in family time! And who knows he may dip in and out of IT locally – he’s an excellent project manager!

There has been lots of other minor stuff happen too that I won’t bore you all with – but the other major thing was our little (or quite big and fluffy now) Dill dog has been so poorly again.  He’s had a grass seed or something work its way to his neck.  Remember Lewis’ thorn in his hand last year? Well similar.  He’s been on antibiotics, he’s had surgery to flush, but they couldn’t find what was causing the abscess.  Today he has had his stitches out and now we have to wait to see if it swells again.  Fingers crossed.  Silver lining? he’s insured and it’s not cancer! Yay! But he’s also become very clingy to his humans and has been sleeping on our white sheets in this sweltering heat! Nice for him, not much sleep for us! ha ha.

Please universe stop throwing stuff our way now.

So put 11th July on the calendar please all those close to me! I will be in hospital for at least a week or two at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford and I would love some visitors if anyone fancies a chat and a catch up from a hospital bed?  I will update you more about surgery after my next meeting with Plastics. Until then, thank you for all your love and support – please don’t get bored as I still have a long way to go!








4 thoughts on “Thursday 22nd June 2017

  1. Good luck with your surgery Tracey – mine is going to be something similar – not enough tummy fat for the same size new boob so a reduction on the left at a later date too. Will be following your blog avidly 🙂 Take care Dawn xx


  2. Man!! You guys have it all going on!!!! Things will all work out, you guys are great and things like this always work out for the better and it’s nerw opportunities for Phil. Something he could look into that could bring in passive income or good money depending on how he likes it is Amazon Affiliate sales. Earn 4%+ on orders that people make through your links – you can set up a store and find a niche and promote products and earn extra income from 10-100’s+++ Have him check it out!!

    Be well!!


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