Monday, 6 April 2015

Good behaviour...

I very much enjoyed Saturday's bad behaviour.

But... I got some advice from a wonderful cancer physiotherapist called Clare Lait (@ClareLaitPhysio)....

... and I've put my running trainers away.

(Please excuse me for a moment while I go and sob...............................................)

I've now got a better understanding of why I shouldn't be running. It's the stupid, stupid radiotherapy that's to blame. It's not just about my skin getting damaged. It's about what's going on internally too.

In simple terms for anyone who isn't all that interested:
Right now I'm 12 weeks post surgery and everything is healed very nicely and neatly in there. There's a good chance radiotherapy is going to damage what's healed, so I kind of need to behave as if I've only just had the surgery, all over again, and be very, very careful.

More specific detail for anyone who is interested in the effects of radiotherapy on LD flap and expander recon:
So the expander implant is there to save a space for a permanent implant which will be put in at a later date. The expander went in empty, and gets filled up bit by bit over time, stretching my skin carefully and gradually. The expander is very rigid and hard - it has to be to hold it's own against all the muscle and tissue as that heals and knits together in its new home on the front of my body.
Clare explained that the expander implant I have in is also stretching the pecs at the front, therefore weakening them. And radiotherapy can cause the capsule (the scar tissue around my temporary expander implant) to contract, potentially moving the expander. Running could also cause the expander to rise up, or weaken the pecs even further.
If the expander moves, it is essentially saving a space for the permanent implant in the wrong place. And that can't really be corrected. So in the interests of keeping everything where it should be now, for the best cosmetic result later, I'm not going to run again until the surgeon says yes. Gutted. But I don't regret the one run I did. It felt amazing.

(PS to be fair, I think all this has been explained to me by my surgeon in the past, it just didn't really click until today.)

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