Thursday, December 30, 2010

The end of the year

Here it is, the end of 2010.  I thought this was going to be "my year".  I have a great job, the best friends in the world, and I was enjoying life.

Then, I found that one lump.  I cannot say enough how important it is for every woman out there to do your self breast exams and to have your mammograms.  Thank God I did all three and have since had a double mastectomy and will soon start chemotherapy then complete with radiation therapy.

I cannot say thank you to all of my friends and family for standing beside me in this tough time.  Thanks just doesn't seem like enough. 

I went to the doctor today and had my expanders filled again.  My best friend took me to the doctor and asked if when I went in, did I say "filler up"?  All any of us could do is laugh.  She gave me a belated Christmas card today that says on the front cover "All I want for Christmas is my two front teats".  Only Pam.

My friend, Frank, came over for a vist today, too.  It was great to catch up with him and hear him regale us with stories of his mother.  All we could do was laugh!  Thanks Frank, I needed that!

I will be starting chemo on Jan 10 and will be having adriamycin and cytoxan for the first 4 cycles, which will be every 2 weeks, then I will start weekly therapy with Taxol for 12 weeks.  I will then have external beam radiation therapy after that to make sure all those damn cancer cells are dead, dead, dead!  Then we can talk finishing reconstruction!

For all of those following this, thanks for your time.  Thanks for the prayers.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I wish nothing but the best for the coming year for you and your families. 

2011 is going to be MY YEAR!!!!!!

Love to all and FEEL YOUR BOOBIES,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Well, here it is, just a few days before we celebrate the birth of our saviour, Jesus Christ.  I have asked for a couple of material things from my parents, but I received the best gift I never wanted.  That was to be surgically free from cancer!

I am soooo thankful for the physicians, nurses, radiology techs, and office staff of all those who have taken such a large part of my care.

Last Thursday, Mom and I went to "chemo class".  This was to let me and her know what to expect during chemotherapy.  With the development of medications, nausea and vomiting should be diminished
The medication combination that is most often used and probably will be used on me is called adriamycin and cytoxin.  Unfortunately, the downside to this combo is that I will most likely lose my hair.  I decided that if I did need chemo, I was going to have a head shaving party!  We have parties for all sorts of things, why not have one if you're going to lose your hair, right?

I've been asked if I was going to wear a wig.  And I don't have an answer for that.  There are lots of scarves, kerchiefs and the like, I'll probably go with something like that.

I would like to give a loud shout out to Bonnie.  Girl, you make me smile when I think of all the "pixie dust" you left in my house when you and Bridgette visited!  I have reminders of your visit everytime I walk in the kitchen in my socks!

Mom, Kenneth, Dad and Pam, you 4 are my rock.  Thanks will never be enough to repay everything you have done for me.

Finally, for all those that actually read this, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year.


Merry Christmas,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One Week Post Op

Today is one week WITHOUT CANCER!!!!!!!!!  Yeah!!!!!!  Today also marked my first trip to the mall since before surgery.  Mom needed to go to the mall and I went along, just to get out of the house. I've got a bad case of cabin fever!  By the time we got thru Sears and found NOTHING she needed, we deciced to lunch at Chick-Fila.  While standing in line to get my lunch, a friend from high school saw me.  She saw the pain pump bag I was wearing and asked if it was Chemo.  I told her no, just pain meds and laughed.  She  told me SHE has breast cancer and was one week post op from a sentinel node biopsy and port placement.  She showed me her port and I showed her mine.  A grown up version of Show and Tell! 

I told her I had the double mastectomy one week ago and she lit up and said it was my fault she was starving and wasting away to nothing.  She was scheduled to be the second case that day and the complications from my surgery delayed her surgery by a couple of hours.  All we could do was laugh at the whole thing.

We exchanged information and found we have the same medical oncologist and the same surgeon!  What a small world.

I did have a one week follow up with the plastic surgeon and she was very pleased with the looks ofeverything.  She said she wanted to start filling my expanders today with 30 cc's in each, but changed her mind and put 60 cc's in each.  I'm on my way to PERKY!!!!!!!  The pain pump came out, so that's down to 3 tubes left in, then the other surgeon's nurse came in and took out one of the drains under my right arm, so I'm down to 2 tubes.  What a difference that makes.

Since it's been such a long, productive day, I'm off to relax and not do anything for the rest of the night!

Love and Hugs to all

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 2 after surgery

Saturday morning, day 2 post-op.  I'm a little sore, a little stiff and still sound like I have a frog in my throat.  My 4 hour surgery turned into about 6 hours. 

I had a 3rd malignant lesion that was growing into the backside of the nipple, so that's gone, but the rest of the cancer is gone as well.  The surgeon did place a medi-port (an IV access in the upper chest wall) for chemotherapy that will begin after the new year.  I don't know yet if I'll need  radiation therapy. 

My parents are in disbelief.  Mom's terrified and so is Dad, but he won't talk to anyone about what's going on with me.  I guess it's true that at 42 years old, I am still their baby girl. 

The Medical Oncologist did what's called BRAC Analysis, a blood test that shows any predisposition for other types of cancer, including ovarian and colon cancers.  That came back negative, thank God for that.

The next few days are going to be a challenge in getting back and forth to doctor appointments, I have 2 on Monday.  One with the cosmetic surgeon's nurse for a dressing change and one at the cancer center to have my port accessed and to draw blood.  Looks like I'll be busy for a while anyway.

I think it's time to relax a bit more and take a nap!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surgery Day

Today is the day I have been looking forward to.  It's 2:30 AM and I cannot sleep anymore.  I am a bit surprised that I slept as much as I did, but that's thanks to my medicine to help with my insomina issues.  I have to be at the hospital at 4:30 AM for admission.  I am scheduled for a 24 hour stay.

Yesterday, I went to the plastic surgeon so she could do her marking for the reconstruction she's going to do and I was injected with the radioactive material so the surgeon can monitor my lymph nodes to make sure there is no cancer there. 

Someone asked me if I'm ok..... I told them I'm as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs and tried to laugh about it.  As I've said before, I am not a patient patient.

My co-workers made me cry at lunch yesterday with a card and presents.  I usually am a little more composed, but this was an exception to the rules.  Thanks to all, you really made my day and yes I'll call when I can.

This whole experience has been surreal.  The time of diagnosis on 10-26-10 to now has been a blur.  Doctor visits, the possibility of external beam radiation and oral vs. intravenous chemotherapy, lumpectomy that had to be cancelled in light of finding more disease, and now, double mastectomy has taken a toll on my emotions.  I haven't looked at myself since having the marking done.  I just cannot make myself do it. 

There has been one more bright ray of light since all this has begun.  My mom's oldest sister who has fought and won (so far) her fight with breast cancer, made a couple of heart shaped pillows and took them to my surgeon's office for her to give to me with a note to let me know she's thinking of me and wanted to do something to help.  Wow.  She hasn't spoken to anyone in the family in a while, but she actually reached out to me.  Something good is happening here. 

I'll let everyone know what's going on in a few days.  Please keep me and my family in your prayers.