Getting to know Annet

Getting to know Annet - 9. Breast Reconstruction

Getting to know Annet - 9. Breast Reconstruction

In Annet's previous Blog: 8. Reconstruction & Rehabilitation, Annet explained the steps required and the decisions which she had to make, before the actual reconstruction could take place. 

After months of rehabilitation and preparing Annet's breast with the help of an expander... the day of Annet's reconstruction surgery (1 June 2017) finally came... 

Getting to know Annet - 8. Reconstruction & Rehabilitation

Getting to know Annet - 8. Reconstruction & Rehabilitation

I feel guilty admitting that I have found it very difficult to write Annet's story. She is the one who has to live through the trauma of what has taken place from the moment she was diagnosed with cancer. But reading her story not only gives you a better understanding of what those in Annet's shoes has to live through, it gives you a chance to walk beside her. Even though it's an emotional journey, Annet says that having her loved one's beside her while having to go through it all, makes all the difference... 

Getting to know Annet - 7. Mastectomy

Getting to know Annet - 7. Mastectomy

The day arrived.... It was cold and dark and felt like we were marching towards a heavy sentence about to be served. Annet had to be at the hospital at 0700 hrs in the morning.

Annet attended with her husband and son and I met them half an hour before, at the entrance to the hospital. Annet was nervous and tried to smile but mostly, we were all just quiet and I could feel the emotion in the room, like it was my own.

Getting to know Annet - 5. Life goes on...

Getting to know Annet - 5. Life goes on...

Annet is not the type of person to ever sit still. Her whole house is covered in clever little mosaic art pieces which she usually makes without a pattern... she just follows the design as it evolves and where her feeling goes. I met Annet for the first time during a mosaic course which she gave at her home studio. It opened a whole new world for me to the value of things... you make yourself. Regardless how small or advanced your own piece of art... it's a piece of you. 

Getting to know Annet - 4. Chemo

Getting to know Annet - 4. Chemo

I was honoured but nervous when Annet said that I could come with her to her final chemo...

The last time I had anything to do with chemo was when I took my dad to be administered chemo and it was not a nice experience. Partly because he could only have a few sessions as his cancer was too advanced and nothing more could be done (but he insisted on trying)... and partly because we sat in a big room, in chairs, with so many other people having chemo at the same time. It felt like a 'factory'. I can remember my dad being angry at everyone... I think he was frustrated with the situation. He was sick and could not do anything about it. And... being used to always being in charge of quite a lot of people, he was never used to just having to sit down for an hour... So this all frustrated him while he argued with passers by. It was an awful situation as I can recall just wanting to pick him up and carry him out there but also desperately wanting him to get better. I can't help but smile when thinking about him getting angry at the world... As the wonderful man that my father was... at times... he was well known as an 'angry man' and I... would not dare cross him :)

My experience with Annet... was VERY different. 

Getting to know Annet - 3. What next?

Getting to know Annet - 3. What next?

What would be the first thing that you do, after receiving the news that would change your life forever? 

Annet called her sister from the car on the way home.

Her sister knew about the appointment and what Annet was facing that day... 

Then, once she arrived home, she walked to her parents' house to tell them personally. This... she found the hardest. Her parents are quite old and no parent.... would want to see their children ill...