breast cancer · lumpectomy · mastectomy · Mr Cool

Blue Dye

I remember that blue, arctic fresh, toilet cleaner with the little plastic cable car precariously positioned in the toilet bowl. It was such a feature of going to the toilet at my Nanny’s house in the 1980’s and 90’s. I used to think how fresh and clean her toilet must have been every time it was flushed. I also thought sea water was meant to be blue for a large part of my childhood.

For two days, I have been weeing blue. And I didn’t even notice. I just thought the toilets at hospital had been cleaned.

On Tuesday morning, I had two hook wires inserted into my breast via ultrasound. A bit like being connected to a car battery or hooked on a fishing line. I was then ushered off for a mammogram to x’ray said hook lines to make sure they were embedded in the tumours. I was asked to pose like a Russian gymnast in my undies, while simultaneously bending backwards, toes forwards, whilst leaning a little to the right, no the left, chin up, chin up, into the George Foreman grill. I think I almost pulled a muscle in my lower back.

Luckily the grill wasn’t sizzling hot. But the sensation of squashed breast and skin pulling into a nuclear industrial machine is enough to put anyone off George for life!  After that, I got to visit the nuclear department where my nipple was injected with some radioactive substance that burned like acid and photographs were taken of my lymphatic system at 15 minute intervals whilst I laid perfectly still with my arm above my head. See said picture below.


Of course, I have my trusty Instagraming, social media, addicted husband every step of the way to document such humiliating scenarios.   Thanks Honey.  Love you.  Apparently my lymphatic clearance rate was exceptionally quick!  Yay me! Winning again!

Finally in the pm and after an all day fast, I went to surgery for my open excision (lumpectomy) and sentinal node biospy. The nurses were hairy with beards. The wallpaper was from the 70’s. The anaesthetist went into my vein and straight out the other side so I asked him if he had eaten his lunch. And I asked my surgeon what her perfume was. I believe she said Angel by Thierry Mugler. So will have to check that one out later.  After some idle chit chat and some deep breathing into a mask, I was out. Then they inserted the blue dye into my nipple. This colour, as well as the radioactive substance would show them two things, the blue colouring would show my lymphatic drainage pattern and the radioactive chemical would show hot spots which is where cancer likely is. From there, they excised the tumours and had a fiddle with the nodes to remove those that showed up as being blue, hot or larger than normal.

Two hours later, I was in recovery. Tumourless. Blue dye in my body. Blue tattooed nipple. Blue breast and blue wee. And the blue nipple might stay for a few years.  So I’m a bit like the arctic fresh.

Off I go!
Off I go!

10 thoughts on “Blue Dye

  1. Thank you for sharing so perfectly. I’m checking my girls throughly tonight. I’m so glad I have met you Lisa you are an inspiration to me too and I really hope we get to do our long runs together one day. Chooka’s xxx


  2. Lisa you are amazing. I have been watching your posts on your journey with your marathons and thought you were awesome but I must say you are an inspiration to all woman. I love the way you look at life and wish you all the luck for this little hurdle in your life. xxxx


  3. Hi Lisa,
    Great blog. You are at the scariest part of the process. I had my fourth infusion of chemo yesterday and so far so good. Minimal side effects. You seem like you have a strong spirit which will carry you through the next year.


  4. Just found your blog through another blog. I was also diagnosed January 11, 2013. IDC, Triple negative, BRCA gene 1 positive, ovarian cancer, got it all. I’m doing chemo, hysterectomy, chemo, bi-lateral mastectomy, chemo, radiation. That is if I can survive all of this torture. My husband started a caringbridge site to write about our updates. I applaud your efforts to blog for your own words. Love the pix of your oncologists shoes. The things we start to obsess about when faced with the biggest fight of our lives! I can relate because I have scoured the Internet for as much info on my docs as possible only to find the same crap on different web pages. My onco is also a woman who dresses to the nines. I guess I’m just envious of her that her biggest decision (I assume) that day is to whether she should wear tights with her boots or go bare legged. I want to make small decisions like that on a daily basis like I once did. I wish you the best. I won’t tell you to keep fighting because that’s all we hear from our loved ones. How about keep sustaining? Best, Michele Cohen


    1. Thank you for visiting my blog Michelle. Sorry to hear you are on this journey. It feels a bit overwhelming when you map out exactly what lays ahead. I am just trying to focus on each part. Would love a link to your site. I like the idea of sustaining very much. Lots of healing vibes your way strong lady. x


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