Kathy's Story

KATHY LE CRAS - JOURNAL   In her own words (may not be medically correct terms)

26.04 .06

I was called to the Breast Clinic for 2 year check up.

11.05.06 9.15.AM

Taken for 3 more mammograms, then to Dr Laura Gaunt she took biopsy (tissue) ultrasound showed her the small tumour 4mm but at this time I was not told that the tumour was cancerous.  On leaving the nurse made an appointment for me to see the surgeon which sounded ominous.


Saw Mr Sadeo Kairsingh. He gave me the bad news (his words) My husband was with me this time he was handed an information pack by the nurse. Mr Kairsingh told me I would be operated on within the next 2 weeks to have the tumour removed also Lymph Nodes would be take out for analysis. I was given an appointment to see the breast clinic nurse specialist.


Had a chat with Karen Leach, she answered my questions, will arrange blood test & E.C.G. at the Specialist Group.


Karen  rang (left message on answer phone) has arranged for the operation Friday


Have to go today for blood pressure tests etc with practice nurse at 11.45A.M.

26 .05.06 Operation Day.

The usual nothing to eat after 7.30 A.M. had to report to Dr Lucas, Anaesthetist MSG at 9.45A.M. After tests   when straight to de Saumarez ward was taken to X ray  and then to Dr Gaunt for the wire to be inserted with the aid of ultrasound  to mark the tumour for Mr Rice, he called in to check on as the size was small, had been told 4 mm and it proved difficult to locate.

Went for surgery at 3.10P.M. and returned 6.35P.M. had been fitted with drain tube to take off excess fluid from the wound under my arm (Lymph Nodes removable) and was having oxygen, very sore at this time.


De Sausmarez Ward Room 2. Had a bath then breakfast of toast and coffee. Received Bag from Pink Ladies. Sat in chair reading after breakfast. Mr Kairsingh was coming to see me. Around 11.45am by accident I pulled the drain tube out of my arm, I fainted & was sick. I had called the nurse just before I passed out and she put a dressing on. Mr Kairsingh arrived at 12.20, he said that I might as well go home the next day as I was only being kept in because of the drain tube which could not be put back in. 


Getting on with reading my book as I was awake so early. The surgeon came at 10.45am & told me that I could go home.


I have a lot of bruising under my left boob. Went out as feeling quite OK really.


No real problems, a bit tight and sore.


I rang the Breast Clinic and was told to ring the MSG. I was given an appointment at 3.20pm. She took the dressing off & sprayed with a waterproof solution. She called in Mr Rice to look at his handiwork, he told me to make an appointment for Friday so that he could give me the pathology report.


Quiet day in the garden, still feel OK.

02.06.06          RESULT DAY

Karen took me into see Mr Rice at 12.20pm. He gave me the good news - they HAVE GOT ALL THE CANCER OUT- 8MM IN SIZE. They tested the 14 lymph nodes which were all clear. This was the smallest cancer that had been removed in Guernsey this year. After a quick examination Mr Rice said that I did have some build up of fluid in my arm pit but if it was drained off it might cause an infection. My next appointment with him would be in 3 month’s. I would be seeing Mrs Hall when she came over from Southampton regarding radiotherapy.


I started to feel very uncomfortable under my armpit. There was a hard ball like a cricket ball, Karen had told me I might get this.


About 20 minutes after I got up I noticed a large amount of blood gushing out of the wound under my arm. Dave took me up to A & E at 9am. They fixed me up with a little drain bag with an emptying tap. I was also fitted with a mesh stocking over my boobs to hold this in place, not very comfortable. They took a specimen of the fluid. The drain bag had filled up by the time I got home so needed emptying. Before going to bed that evening we emptied it again, it was only half full.


I rang Karen and she asked me to go up to the clinic where she removed the mesh and drain and replaced with a small dressing. She gave me spares and made an appointment for Thursday.


Had a call from the Pink Ladies in response to my thank  you e-mail for goodie bag.


Karen drained off about 20ml, 2 syringes, of fluid.


Having a lot of pain (spasm) so went to see Dr Williams at Grand Maison in the afternoon, he thinks I may have an infection in the lymph wound. Gave me antibiotics and stronger pain killers.


Still have pain, feels like when I had shingles.


Fluid building up again.


Slight improvement in spasms & hope the antibiotics are kicking in.


Karen drew off over 2 syringes of fluid. She checked with the Path Lab who confirmed no infection in swab taken on the 4th. I do feel the benefit of having the fluid drained but still have some discomfort.


Went to see Dr Hall from Southampton General in Bulstrode House. She asked if there was any breast cancer history in the family, bra size or any health problems. She made am examination and commented that the scars were healing nicely. She said that I will need to have 5 weeks of radiotherapy which should be starting in August. She explained about the “Manor House” where Guernsey and Jersey patients stay during the treatment time. I was asked to sign a consent form.


Saw Karen at Breast Clinic, she decided not to drain a small amount of fluid that I had and should not need to have it done again.

Am having problems with lifting my left arm, spasms and nerve tension. I spoke to my daughter in law who is a physiotherapist in the USA and she suggested that I should have some physiotherapy. I spoke to Nicola at the PEH and she me in with Jay, a shoulder therapist on 06.07.06. I spoke to the MSG and they confirmed OK to have this treatment. I had 7 sessions between July 10 and the 8th August.

NO news of radiotherapy so had to phone Southampton to chase up dates.


Went to Southampton General for my Planning appointment, had to sign another consent form as original signed with Dr Hall on 16th June appears lost The actual job of placing my arm in the correct position was very difficult, to raise it up to the required position was extremely painful and in fact it appeared that I would have to return again after probably more phsysio. In the end 3 radiographers forced my arm into position and Dr Hall agreed that treatment could commence next week.

Treatment period


Appointment time 10.30, actual time 11.45, very difficult achieving arm position, had to grin & bear it. Very distressed afterwards.


10.50 Appointment, actual time 11.23. Still very difficult to achieve arm position.


Appointment 10.50, actual treatment 11.30, still arm problems.


9.10, called in at 9.40am, same problem.


Same as 22nd.


Evening treatment at 1855.


First on at 8.30am, still the arm problem.


8.30am Appointment


8.30am, Excitement - fire alarm went off during treatment.


Same time, split treatment due to computer crash.


Early appointment, caught the 10.55 flight home.


Fog in Guernsey so no flights.


Had to go to Gatwick due  to fog, Roy (UK friend) drove me to Southampton and had treatment at 6.50pm. Arm still hurting a lot


Early appointment, arm OK


Problem with computer so 10.00am treatment.


Last treatment at 8.30am, all OK flew back home.


Rang Karen at the Breast Clinic as having a lot of discomfort from baking under my left arm, nipple and breast, very red & itching. She gave me some Geliperms to cool them down and to wet them when they had dried out. Just kept in place by my bra. The Geliperms did help enormously & I changed them frequently.


Went to see my GP who took swabs for infection under my arm lymph scar. She gave me Actiform Cool (blue Hydrogel wound dressings) and Allevyn no adhesive foam film sterile dressings. I found that although the Actiform Cool dressings do help with cooling the blistered area, when I took them off they pulled more skin off the breast both on and under, so after a couple of weeks I stopped using them altogether.


Had a scan at Osteoporosis Unit to check bones.


Under arm scar is still oozing.


Appointment with Mr Rice at MSG. No lumps, but still sore from burns which will heal up soon.


Went on cruise, took dressings, had to change them regularly - took a further 3 weeks to heal up.


Appointment with Mr Rice - all OK and will see him again in 3 months.


Back to Mr Rice, all OK again.


Mammogram at Breast Clinic


Saw Mr Rice for the last time as he is returning to Australia. Received the all clear.