On the 17th January I was back at Derriford Hospital for a post surgery check with Mr X and Sue the BCN. The free flap DIEP reconstruction had taken place in the previous July and despite thinking I would never stand up straight again, would never bend, lie on my side or be “normal”… 7 months on I could do all of the above and more. I was able to go to pilates, spin, was back at work full time. When I caught sight of myself getting changed or dried the toob looked pretty good – there was no nipple and the circular scar made of my tummy which might be an areola eventually did remind me slightly of a pig’s snout minus the nostrils.
I’m a trustee of the Primrose Foundation and I take my responsibilities seriously. I read the papers sent to me and I look carefully at the applications for funding. One such application was for a bursary for training for a fellow to join the oncoplastics team. The application was for £10,000. I spoke to the D2 ladies and we agreed that we would like our fundraising to support. This is what was on the the Primrose Foundation web site wrote:
A new £10,000 bursary for the newly appointed Plastic Clinical fellow with a specialist interest in Breast reconstruction which has recently been developed within the Plastic & reconstructive surgical directorate at University Hospitals Plymouth.
This post will play a vital role to anyone who requires breast reconstruction after breast cancer and means that patients will now be offered free flap breast reconstruction as an option.
So when I saw Mr X with the pigs snout I told him that the D2 ladies would like to ensure that the money we raised at the second D2 ball would support the fellowship to ensure that more women in the Plymouth area would have access to a free flap/DIEP reconstruction. The next step was to arrange the cheque presentation. This was arranged at the Duke of Cornwall – afternoon tea with a variety of options from vegan to full fat. It was a lovely afternoon, jolly, fun and a way to celebrate how we had managed to work together over two years to raise over £23,000 – something quite extraordinary for 9 women who’d never raised money like this before. The funds also support.. a new quiet room refurbishment and a clinical psychologist to help women who are thinking of a reconstruction.