You are often pleasantly surprised when things aren't as bad as you expect them to be.

1 minute read time.

I really don't mean to minimise anyone else's bad experiences (or my own), and I know a diagnosis of cancer is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone.

But I have found, several times over the last few months, that my spirits have been really lifted by unexpected positive experiences since my diagnosis, so I thought I'd share them.

I had an operation two weeks ago to remove a tumour from my right breast, but when the tissue was analysed there wasn't a "clear margin". There was cancerous material too close to the edge of the material they had taken out, which meant they would have to operate on me again. Unfortunately, there is no way of distinguishing the good from the bad by eye, so there is a chance the second operation may not be the last.

Soon after I was told this, I began to fret about having the second operation, and thought that maybe, because of the uncertainty, I'd prefer to opt for a mastectomy on that side. I was eventually put off the idea because a mastectomy with reconstruction (my choice) is a long procedure with followup surgery required anyway.

I had my second surgery yesterday, and it was a far far easier experience than my first. It was a shorter operation so my system was exposed to less drugs, and only part of the original scar needed to be re-opened. I was much more alert afterwards, less nauseous, and less sore. Also, the nurses, specialists and my wardmates were all absolutely lovely. I am learning so much.

For some of us, it is in our nature to imagine the worst, and we can't help that. Not only does the worst mostly not happen, but also I hope some of you will find, like me, that there are pleasant surprises, a learning journey, and wonderful people to meet along the way.

  • I am about to go for my second surgery this Wednesday, first one was two weeks ago and your story is almost identical to mine re there wasn’t a “clear margin” so just wanted to thank you for your encouraging story. 

  • Thank you Mags58! I wasn't sure how my blog would go down. I think it is quite common to have to have a second, more minor surgery, and my surgeon did say to me afterwards that often they find nothing else to worry about when they do it. Sending you a big hug - you know the score now so the lead-in is less stressful. I recommend being very kind and understanding to yourself afterwards though - the operation may take less time, but you will still need lots of rest and tlc afterwards xx

  • Well done for getting this far, wishing you health and happiness going forward,

  • What a positive person you are, this will also help lots of others they’re going through the same situation as you.

  • That's very sweet of you to say. You know, I am not an especially positive person. My mind always runs away to the worst possible scenario in fact! But there are just some very surprising things about how a cancer diagnosis affects us (or some of us).