Antoinette Rahme-Routledge

3 July I was told I had cancer, stage 4 breast cancer that has spread into my right lung.  (I had a double mastectomy in 1996, to prevents breast cancer) Very difficult to remove all cells………

6 July 2020

Was admitted into the hospital for 9 days, ran tests, did MRI scans, and exrays. Had 3lt’s of fluid drained from my lung.

5th AUGUST 2020

My journey begins. Having a port inserted today, Chemo treatment begins tomorrow. I’m going to have an affair with the RED ANGEL, so he will be kind to me? I’m going to nail that little c, in the butt, he thinks he can take over MY body !!!!!!

I’m ready for the fight of my life Most AMAZING experience of my life EVER I’m a medical receptionist Work for Dr. Ricardo Rebelo (chiropractor) at Hyperlife Centre in Brackenhurst. Best boss in the ENTIRE world? no words can describe his kindness and support. Amazing loving and supportive staff members.

I’m very interested in surgical procedures, watch every medical documentary/series, etc? During the consultation I mentioned to the Dr. I would LOVE to watch the procedure. He first laughed, said it’s not a good idea. Said think about it, we will chat on the day of the procedure.

I think I was actually testing myself, seeing if I was strong enough and had the willpower and mindset, to go through staying awake for the procedure. I was thinking if I can get through this I’m ready for ANYTHING?

I reminded him, he thought I was joking, and asked if I could handle seeing myself operated on, seeing my own operation as it happened the blood and the gore. I said I’m absolutely sure Dr organized it with the anesthetist.

The anesthetist made sure I was 100% certain I wanted to stay awake and watch the procedure, and NOT freak out.  I convinced him and promised to behave myself.

They had the drip ready in case I could not stomach it all.
They numbed my chest, no anesthetic, and no pain.

Was amazing I saw the pipe going through into my heart on the x-ray, I could actually feel it going through, BUT no pain. I still said hello to my heart nice meeting after 58 years.  We had many laughable moments.

The big theatre lights above acted as a mirror for me, that’s where I was watching everything as it happened. There was a big gap, big enough for me the see where the incision would be cut, and how the port was to be fitted.

He explained every single detail of what he was doing. Showed me the port, the pipes, etc. When he made the incision, how they stopped the bleeding, clamped the sides, and began to squeeze the port in solidly

I could feel the port being pushed side to side. Still no pain. Once the port was inserted, Dr flushed the port to check all was in order. He then stitched the port in solidly. Then the wound was stitched (covering the port). Once again the port was check and flushed 100%.

I’m so blessed to have witnessed my operation

It was the most AMAZING EXPERIENCE I have EVER had.

The theatre staff was amazed having never seen a patient watching their procedure, chatting and laughing.

Dr enjoyed chatting to me and getting feedback as to what I was feeling, said he enjoyed the live experience as much as I did. High fives were exchanged with all the theatre staff, the anesthetist, and the Dr.

The procedure was supposed to be over in 30 minutes, we were in the theatre for 55 minutes.  I was sad when it ended, I was thoroughly enjoying every minute.

I reckon my positive mindset and strong willpower got me through the procedure.

It did me the world of good, I AM READY FOR ANYTHING COMING MY WAY I’m so ready for my affair with the RED ANGEL.

6 AUGUST 2020

First day of chemo treatment. Small brekkie oats and raisins. My son Séan drove me there. I was feeling anxious and nervous. Had a nice friendly chat with Dr, then began treatment.

Had fun chatting to nurses and chemo patients, listening more about what they going through, and learning. Then my naughty crazy side kicked in, I poled danced for them and joked around. I’m crocheting my son a queen size blanket that did quite a few rows during my treatment. I drank 2lts of water and a cup of black coffee. Had my survival pack with me…

I had peanut butter? In case I got hungry. Had salt and vinegar crisps, sour worms, and TIC TAC peppermints if I perhaps began to get the metallic taste in my mouth.

Never had any of the above I felt incredibly great.

Got home at 2 pm Went for a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood, telling cancer how I was going to get rid of him, with steps I took I assured him he was not welcome in my body. Had a short cat nap for about an hour.

The worst is waiting for the chemo to kick in, how I will react. (something I will not think of again EVER) Why worry about something when it’s not even there.!!!!!!

Had a lovely dinner, butternut soup kept sipping water continuously. Was tired and went to bed at 10 pm.

Woke up at 1.30 am, was burning up, my lips felt like a blown up rugby ball, I was shaking.

I got into action, after taking a few deep breaths, took a blanket off to cool down, removed my hot water bottle immediately, quickly, drank water, and sucked 2 peppermint TIC TAC Felt much better within 5 minutes.

The same happened again at 3.30 am, did the same again AND SURVIVED.

I lay in bed thinking my poor poor body, is in shock, having the port inserted the day before my first chemo treatment.  My body certainly needs time to mend.

7 AUGUST 2020

Day after 1st chemo treatment.

Left home at 8 am, my daughter in law Dee kindly drove me to Randburg.
I bought two beautiful wigs, was so happy and comfortable with them, I kept one the entire day. Had shopping done for me, waited in the car. Came home, had a quick bite, I then drove from Glenanda to the Mulbarton hospital for exrays. Was feeling very tired waiting for the results to come through. Got home at 4.30 pm, had a nartjie and banana then slept for 2 hours. Had a lovely dinner spaghetti with red /green peppers, mixed with cashew nuts plain.

If the above is all the side effects I’m more than happy. I can easily cope with that. I was aware that the 2nd and 3rd chemo usually does kicks in… so I was listening to my body, when tired I slept, when feeling yucky I told my family. Making it easier for everyone around.

4th day after the first chemo. Had a good night’s rest, got up about 4 times to go to the bathroom, and slept on-off for 12 hours.

Woke up feeling weird could not describe it. Normally I take a nausea tab first thing when waking. The ones I’m on now say eat first. Went to the bathroom wanted to bring it up, nothing happened. Got up had a wee, washed my hands, and suddenly started sweating, I was wearing a thermal top under my jammies (cold weather here)I recall I got so hot, was sweating up a storm, and was absolutely soaking?

Don’t remember anything after that. My son Séan and daughter in law Dee heard a thud when I fell and came into my bedroom.  I had hit my head on the basin than the tiled floor and passed out. They were trying to wake me up.
I was so disorientated.. Two bad bumps a bit sore.

We changed clothing quickly, I drank a small tin of Ginger Ale, felt much better. Did spend most of the day in the bedroom, sleeping and just chilling.

Lesson learned the hard way !!!!!!!!

EAT FIRST, nausea tab next, then the bathroom.

It’s trial and error I’m learning very quickly.

I returned back to work 6 days after the first chemo session.

I am a Medical Receptionist for Dr. Ricardo Rebelo (Chiropractor). i’m SO BLESSED…..I’m so protected by my boss, Ricky he keeps me in a secure bubble at work.

No one is allowed into my office, staff nor patients. Another medical receptionist is handling the payments. I book appointments and chat with patients who stand behind the RED line outside my office.

I do not go into his office after each patient as I previously did, to wipe down the beds the patients have laid on or to wipe down the equipment. Ricky has taken the role on like a star (I taught him well) LoL

I have the GOLDEN KEY (a 50c piece) to my own private bathroom.

I tell Ricky each day how I’m feeling and we take it from there. When I feel tired, I close my door and have a cat nap. Ricky always checks up on me, making sure I’m ok, encouraging me to keep eating small meals, making sure I’m building up my immune system. I begin work at 8.30 am, usually leave by 4.30 pm.  Left work early on two occasions, feeling very tired.

By Thursday the 7th day after the first chemo treatment, I felt absolutely 100% back to my old self.

9th day after chemo, went shopping and had brunch with two dear friends.

10th day and I’m feeling so good, had lunch at the Wimpy, my appetite is back and I’m enjoying food (in small proportions)

I have learned to take it one day at a time, the good and the bad days. Thank God my bad days are honestly not that bad, I can live with those side effects.

I’m actually excited to tackle my 2nd chemo session on 27 August.

I am so prepared mentally and physically for anything that is thrown at me.

I’m keeping active by jumping on my rebounder trampoline daily.

I have entered the 10Km HERITAGE DAY Virtual Run on 24 September 2020

Unfortunately, I’m unable to run due to my current condition

BUT I will be walking and enjoying every minute.