Friday, August 19, 2011

Update from appointment with surgeon today

This coming Monday will be 10 weeks since my surgery.  I still have bruising and swelling.  This last week I have had some pain associated with the swelling.  I had developed a hematoma by my post-op appointment at the end of June.  But now I could also feel fluid in the swelling.  They said it would take up to 6-8 weeks for the hematoma to heal and I figure the chemo has slowed the healing process for my body.

I called my surgeon's nurse yesterday to ask if what I was experiencing was normal.  She recommended I come in for an appointment.  I had my appointment this morning.  I'm so very glad I went!  My surgeon was able to drain 33 cc of fluid from my surgery site.  She said it was good that I came and if I had waited another week it would have probably ruptured (which is common I guess). I just love her and her nurse and all the staff there. She even apologized again for all of the bruising. They strongly encouraged me to be sure to call with ANY questions any time and never to hesitate to contact them.  

I have to admit that my mind started wandering while I was driving to the appointment.  I wondered if there could possibly be infection or if they may have to do another surgery.  They had mentioned that sometimes women have to have another surgery to remove hematomas.  My skin was also peeling at the incision site and my oncologist had mentioned that could be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer which is the most aggressive kind. (The peeling was from the pressure of the fluid stretching my skin.)  But as I started to think all of these crazy out of control thoughts, I just stopped myself and said I'm not going to let my mind go there because I know that God is in complete control no matter what and I am going to trust in Him!  

I had also been wanting to get some childrens books that talk about cancer.  This gave me a chance to meet up with the social worker at the hospital and get several books to go through with the kids. 

The last thing I wanted to do before I left was stop in the store at the hospital.  I had some issues with the wig that was shipped to me.  It wasn't the same wig I had tried on in the store and it just didn't feel right when I wore it.  I was able to exchange it for the original wig that I tried on originally and loved. They also gave me this gel headband thing to wear under the wig to help with comfort. 

We received another wonderful meal tonight and I was able to end my evening by going out for ice cream to celebrate Sarah getting her ears pierced tonight.  She had picked several of her good friends to go with us for support.  We had a great time with this adventure!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

The LORD is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
   and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
   and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
   and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint. 
Isaiah 40:28-31

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Keeping Busy!

So very glad to be half way done with my treatments!!  Thankfully, I did not have the migraines with this round of chemo.  The doctor switched one of the anti-nausea drugs they give me before chemo since she thought that may have caused the migraines last time.  This time around was just the extreme fatigue and body aches. One night I couldn't even hold myself up to eat at the table.  I also got the "labor pains" again this round from the Neulasta injection that boosts my white blood cells.  It took me a good full week to finally feel back to normal.  I have a hard time getting through the week following chemo.  I keep trying to push myself like I have the flu or something and that just doesn't work. It's so hard to be down and out for 7 days or more.  And when I am in the thick of it, I just cannot imagine going through it two more times.  But I have to continue to look at the long term goal and know that when I am so low that the Lord is there with me too - holding me tight in His hands and guiding me every step of the way.

The kids birthdays were several months ago and we didn't get their birthday parties done this summer.  So we had a joint birthday party this past Saturday.  My sweet kids have been so very patient with all of this.  I was so thankful to have energy all day Saturday and have wonderful friends that helped me plan and help with the party.  I just feel like they are growing up so fast.  And I know looking at the big picture I am not missing anything, but I feel like the last 3 1/2 months have just flown by and I have not been there for them like I should have been.  We are playing catch up on all of our doctor, dentist and eye appointments and spent all day running yesterday.  The kids started school today as a 5th grader and 2nd grader. I still cannot believe it!

My next treatment will be Monday, August 29th.  They allowed me to adjust my 3rd treatment by a couple of days to be able to keep our camping reservations that we had made back before my diagnosis.

I am still so humbled by the outpouring of support we are receiving.  Even the phone calls and cards I receive from people we have never even met.  Thank you all again for everything.


Show me your ways, O LORD,
   teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
   for you are God my Savior,
   and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tomorrow is my second treatment

As I mentioned in my last post, my hair started to fall out last Thursday.  And all throughout the weekend it just continued to get worse.  Handfuls of hair coming out along with hair all over everything.  Since we had went wig, head wrap and scarf shopping on Saturday (they are shipping the wig to me), I decided to have Chris shave my head Monday night.  The gal at the store recommended using the 1/4 inch on the clippers.  I was so ready to do this because I couldn't stand the way everything was with my hair.  It really wasn't my hair anymore since it was dry had died off and was falling out.  Sarah started to get upset at the beginning.  So I tried to reassure her that everything was going to be okay.  I had her hold my hand as we got started.  She did warm up as we went along and helped clean up the piles of hair. It felt so good to get this done.  Seeing myself with this really short hair was a bit weird but thankfully it didn't bother me like I thought it might.  And I know it will be different when I am completely bald.  More hair falls out every day so that will be coming soon.



I will post more pictures later.  I cannot figure out how to rotate the pictures here in the blog - so I apologize in advance for the turn of your head to view them :)  

I feel good about going in tomorrow morning for my second treatment.  I truly have a peace from the Lord knowing this is still His perfect plan for me.  After tomorrow's treatment, I will be half way done!!!  WOO HOO!!   I cannot wait to say that tomorrow!  I am also very thankful for meds that I have now to help with the extreme side effect, for a wonderful oncologist and rock star nurses that work long hours without hardly a lunch time to assist with patients getting chemo and other infusions.

Well, I had better try to get some sleep.  That will be a little hard to do since I have been taking steroids today to gear up for the treatment tomorrow. Maybe I should just work out or something... or not :)

Thank you all so much for everything!

head wrapin' today :)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
   and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6