Conscious Uncoupling

‘It is with mixed emotions that Little Blog announces that the Conscious Uncoupling of PollyGosh and Burt, the tumour formal known as Benign. Which took place on April 1st 2014. 

In an operation lasting one and a half hours. A team of dedicated professionals literally cut away all ties between the two parties. 


Burt then spent a month in Analysis, while PollyGosh recuperated quietly at home under the watchful eye of her ever patient Papa.


In a statement, given exclusively to Little Blog, PollyGosh wished to thank her friends and loved ones for their on going support. 


She is also quoted as saying; “I knew the relationship was going down hill when Burt started growing a little too big for his boots, he was multiplying recklessly and since conformation of his tumour status, I could no longer bear to touch him. This separation is right for both of us. Well, mostly for me.”


PollyGosh is so keen to totally purge Burt from her life, to which end, she will be seeking a chemical intervention too.’


It doesn’t sound all that amicable really, does it? I think amicable would be stretching it, after all, Burt never wrote or sang me a song about the colour Yellow.


That being said, in a weird way, I miss him. Only very occasionally. Like animals bred for eating, racoons and annoying co-workers, you should never nickname your tumour, that way trouble leads. 


Still, I grew him. For a long time, if I woke up scared and alone (which, even if there is someone lying next to you, or across the hall, you do feel)- it was Burt who was there. Perhaps I am experiencing my own form of Stockholm Syndrome. 


Perhaps too, I know if he was still here, the rest that is to follow would still be that bit further off. I’ve had experience of surgery and so that, for me, wasn’t so scary.


My lumpectomy went incredibly smoothly – I believe, I mean, I slept through it – so what do I know? From my end, it was smooth, flat out, horizontal stylee. 


My Anaesthetist (an amazing NZ women) gave me good drugs, a derivative of morphine. I woke up in a glorious mood. 


To quote Dad – in a conversation he had over my head, with a rather worried looking Brother, who I was trying to comfort at the time, with witty banter and a chipper attitude.


“Yes, she’s been rabbiting on like this for hours”. It could be that my mind is playing tricks but it came out a little weary when he said it.


I was vaguely aware, from Brother’s widening eyes, that the more I tried to reassure him, the worse job I was doing.


I think Dad had the most ‘interesting’ time, the day of the operation was April First,  so I kept on trying to play funny jokes. I’d then get a little peeved when his concern stopped him from laughing.


Anaesthetic can make me melancholy, feel rather vulnerable and nauseous. I’m not sure if this is universal or just me. My advice, that I really must take myself, don’t be a hero. Take the painkillers they will prescribe on a regular basis. It’s easier on your system to keep the level constant than yo-yo up and down. Sleep your way through it too. Sleep is the best cure all. Give yourself time.


For me, the pain was manageable. On a sliding scale I am not a Marvel Superhero, (it doesn’t seem to matter how many suspect laboratories I hang out at, or how many buttons I press while there) but I’ve got some game. It was standard workaday pain levels but you shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable. That is what the drugs are for. The more pain you suffer through the longer it takes to heal. So I repeat, don’t be a hero, or a martyr – the is no prize for that.


My biggest ambition was to leave hospital the same day. FYI – lumpectomies are considered day cases so this was not the macho achievement it may sound. 


I hate hospitals. Kind of an obvious one really but never the less true. I always want to leave as soon as possible. You need to pass certain tests before they will allow you to vamoose: eating, peeing, walking, dressing – no vomiting. 


I had nearly been caught out after an ear operation a few years back. Like I said, I am affected by anaesthetic rather badly. I always feel nauseous. 


That time round, I did not want to move, or eat. I was down to the wire and nearly had to stay in – it’s with thanks to Dad and A, that I didn’t. It was a bit grim. All I’m willing to say is, what happens on Woodlands Ward, stays on Woodlands Ward (but if you direct mail me I will tell you).


This time I was determined to get going quickly. Thanks to the morphine substitute, I got right on task. Dad discovered, that the least you had to eat to be OK’d to leave was biscuits. I ripped open the packet of especially bought Rich Teas, one handed. Pretty much as soon as I was back on the ward. Every time a nurse came anywhere near I shoved a biscuit in my face – I ate about half the packet, I am not a huge biscuit fan. I drank enough fluid to accomplish other tasks…… I got dressed, on my own. I tried to be a star patient, basically (this has a bit to do with wanting to leave and a lot to do with needing to be loved)


It worked. I got in and out in a day. I don’t think I’m at all special – the lumpectomy was really ok (Burt was small and in an easy to reach place, other tumours may be different). Possibly the weirdest part being the blue nipple – which I know I’ve still not fully explained but it makes A. nervous, like I’ll post evidence or something. As if I would……


So Burt and I are separated, It’s been over a month now. I wish that was the end of the story but it seldom is with Cancer. It was a major step though, it means that I am tumour free, which is a very comforting feeling.