Friday, August 24, 2012

Cancer free...technically!

Hello everyone! Sorry I've been a bit MIA lately. The surgery took a lot of out me and I've pretty much been down for the count. I've had some good days and some bad days but over all I would say they have been pretty good. The last two days have been eventful! catch everyone up!

Yesterday we went to see the Plastic Surgeon. Everything is right on track with healing and I was able to remove the drains. Man that sucked! Basically they send you home with tubes coming out of each side that collects fluid. Everyday you have to measure and dump out the contents. Once you are below 20cc's of fluid a day they can come out! My left side probably finished about two days ago but my right finished yesterday. Perfect timing for my post op appointment! Not to go into gory details but they basically just pull the tubing out and patch you up. Um...does it hurt! Oh hell yes! I definitely let out a few expletives. As my mother says if I didn't say it all the time they wouldn't come out at inopportune times. Well...sometimes regular words just do not suffice! So she felt me up, patched me up and sent me on my way. I'm scheduled to see her again next week to remove the surgical tape. Overall I'm extremely happy with the outcome. The girls are definitely smaller but still there! Just nice and perky! Just like I wanted. It really has been a huge mental help for me to feel more like a plastic surgery patient instead of cancer patient. 

So…today was my follow up with my breast surgeon. Everything looks good with my lymph node incision. It is definitely sore and sensitive but hopefully that will go away soon. I can almost fully extend my arm above my head, which I guess is above average this soon after surgery. I’ll settle for average at this point so above average is stellar!

Ok, the important stuff…I am technically cancer free!! :) Yippee!  Surgery was just the beginning but it was a great start! The entire margin came back clean. What that means is they are confident that they were able to remove all of the cancer and a good portion of healthy tissue around the cancer. The other good news is the lymph nodes came back negative. Well kind of! The cancer did spread to A lymph node (meaning one) but they removed it. There were also a few cancer cells in the other nodes but not enough for it to be considered positive. There were a few bad notes.  Turns out the cancer was a lot worse then anticipated. I had multiple tumors malignant and benign. The three largest malignant were 3.6cm, 2.4cm, and 1.4cm.  Sounds like there was a big ol cancer party in my boob! Sorry cancer this party is over! In the words of my surgeon we really did catch everything just in time. It was on the verge of turning into a body party instead of just a boob party! These are technical terms y'all ;)

Ok,  so what does all of this mean? Good question! Now is another game of hurry up and wait. Currently we are waiting on the chemosensativity testing. Since the tumors were larger and multiple chemo therapy is not off the table yet. However, I have chosen to do an “onc” test on the tumor. This will tell us if my cancer will even respond to chemotherapy. Why do chemo if it isn’t even going to be effective! I am also waiting on a BRAC1 test, which will tell us if I have the cancer gene. The out come of both of these test will help determine my next step. So here we are again…waiting. I will see my oncologist and radiologist in the next two weeks to figure everything out. So stay tuned!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hello from the flip side!

Well...I finally have a little bit of strength and clarity to send my own update! I see that Andre has done an amazing job of keeping you all informed and with his own flare. As you can imagine he has been amazing and words cannot express my gratitude. BUT..I’ve got the rest of my life to say thank you and he's not quiet done taking care of me just yet! As much as I wish this part of the journey were over I've still got a lot of recovery ahead. 

Right now my main focus is staying ahead of the pain so to speak. Everyone that knows me knows I have a high threshold for pain but with that comes a high tolerance for pain medicine.  Not sure why they would think if I needed iv Diladid between my Percocet pills in the hospital that just Percocet alone would work when they sent me home. Well…it’s all they gave me so all I can do is suck it up and deal with it! We figured out it was best to wake me up every four hours to take my pain meds instead of letting me sleep through it. I am happy to say last night I was able to sleep through it! Woke up in a lot of pain but I did get about 6 hours of solid sleep! Hopefully I’m finally “ahead of the pain” now and it will just get better from here.

Once again cancer just seems to be one waiting game after another. First biopsy results, then schedule surgery, now waiting for the pathology from the tumor and lymph nodes. It turns out some of my lymph nodes were actually bigger then my tumor. Not sure if that’s bad or good yet! I’m hoping it just means they were doing their job and fighting the cancer from spreading.  My surgeon asked me to check in on Monday to see if my path results were back but he figured it would probably be Tuesday or so before they had everything. Once they are back I will schedule a meeting with him and we will finally really know what the next step will be. Regardless radiation will still be on the table.

So for now we wait…and I heal! The portable air conditioner arrived yesterday! It really is a godsend! No central air during this heat wave was no bueno! Plus Andre was able to get a little aggression out by breaking the window to put the hose through. We are not officially ghetto…cardboard and masking tape and all!  Hey.. it works!!

I am slowly getting back on line and will try and respond to everyone. The love and prayers have been overwhelming and we really appreciate it.  The flowers are all holding up nicely and have brightened up the apartment! I even had enough strength to play a little Cards Again Humanity with Stephanie and Andre last night. Gotta love a man with the same sick sense of humor as me…below is Andre’s answer to one

Well, I promise to try and keep everyone updated. I’m still really weak and making it from the couch to the bathroom is a choir but everyday does get better. All I really want now is a  blowout and a proper shower! Hopefully in the next few days! However, Andre doesn’t seem to be complaining about having to give me a sponge bath.  Ha, I can’t even brush my own hair so I’ll take it! So for now i will sit back and enjoy this beautiful salad Andre just prepared for me...chicken and all!