I guess when you have a 15-inch surgical wound, there is a fair chance that an inch or two of it may become infected. But when it does, it is horrid, painful, smelly, leaves a worse scar and – more worryingly – may delay the treatment needed to keep the cancer from coming back.
While the wound under my armpit is healing slowly but surely, and most of the longer wound is gradually healing up, part of the wound around my nipple is infected. As well as keeping it clean, I am going to hospital every Tuesday and Thursday to have it checked and the dressings changed, and have now started a two-week course of antibiotics. No Christmas sherry for me!
As well as the new tablets, the infection means keeping up the painkillers, and the combination of medication and enforced immobility is pretty debilitating. It’s difficult to balance the need to rest with the need to get at least some fresh air and exercise. And while it is lovely that so many freinds show their concern for me, repeatedly telling me that I must rest is a bit like telling a depressed person to cheer up or an over-excited person to calm down.
I am supposed to be seeing the oncologist on Thursday or Friday this week, but despite several enquiries, they won’t give me the date and time until Thursday morning. Thus far, I haven’t mentioned to the cancer staff that I am autistic (although obviously it’s in my medical records) because thus far, it has not been an issue. But this uncertainty about appointment times is in danger of making it an issue.
While I wait for the oncologist appointment, I am doing some work from home – and will blog fairly soon about rights for workers with cancer.