Alrighty then. No chemo yet. I have to wait two weeks. I have not healed from the surgery yet. Actually I was healing quite well until yesterday when one of my nipples decided to abandon ship. Yes, I know, so gross. Lefty is sloughing off and bleeding like a stuck pig. There is also quite a bit of swelling. My boobs are bigger now than they were before they got chopped off. I go back to Dr Mounds tomorrow morning and hopefully he can coax lefty in to sticking around.
My oncologist is good. He gave me my schedule and told me everything I never wanted to know about the chemo experience. He described the Chemo Suite. Yep, I will get a suite. Sweet. I will be receiving an aggressive cocktail called AC-T every two weeks. I am feeling much more at ease with the whole process now.
Thank you all for the words of encouragement and support. My daughter Jennilee went with me today. She is going to be my copilot more frequently now. Tina is out of town helping her sister in law Carrie.
I have to admit that I am experiencing some anxiety about starting chemo. I know it is a necessary evil but it makes me nervous none the less. The surgery was easy. I knew I would be asleep during the messy part. Chemo is different. I am going to be wide awake while they pump a toxic cocktail in my body. I am sure once it starts I will get in to the right frame of mind, put on my big girl panties and just deal with it. Until then, I will freak out a little.
Tomorrow I meet with the oncologist. I have heard that he is one of the best but not to expect him to hold my hand. I am ok with that. If I want warm and fuzzy I will wear slippers. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will have survived my first chemo treatment and will be sharing with you all that it was no big deal. Cake.
I am so overwhelmed by the kindest of others. Just look at this stunning assortment of gifts I have received. Thank you so much! My home smells amazing. I love my tranquileyes eye goggles, they have really helped with the headaches. Thank you everyone!
Yesterday was drain pull day. I was so ready to rid myself of those things. I was so sore and it was painful in the area where they came through the skin. Certainly this was aggravated by the countless times I hooked them on door handles only to realize too late and accidentally yank them.
I arrived at my appointment with my faithful sidekick, Tina. We discussed all of the fun things I would be able to do once these tubes were pulled. After being escorted to the exam room I thought for the first time this might not be a painless procedure. There was a tray set up with a chilling selection of needles, syringes, clamps, lots of gauze and those funny scissor like things that don’t cut. I glanced at the door, contemplating a hasty retreat. Thought better of it, told myself to suck it up. I undressed and put on my gown, open in the front. The doctor came in, smiling, and once again I was so grateful to have found him. Immediately I was at ease. He checked out my mounds and we discussed the surgery, recovery and the pathology. Then he told me that most patients don’t feel the drain pulling because they are still fairly numb. He wiggled a tube, I almost hit him. Apparently I am not one of those patients. Out came the needles. He told me to lay back and I might feel a little prick. I giggled. Then I felt what was most certainly not a little prick! Youch. Then he called for back up. The nurse came in and they set up for the tube pull. I decided to close my eyes. I felt a little tug, followed by a big tug. Then had the oddest sensation of a snake slithering inside my chest. Who knew those pesky tubes were so long? Shudder. Now it was time for the other side. I really wished I had taken some sort of medicine before I left the house. Or drank a few lemon drops in the waiting room. That would have helped. I braced myself through the other pull. This time I focused on the slurping sound made when the drain was being pulled. So odd.
After that excitement my doctor asked about my chemo appointments. He told me he presented my case to the tumor board and it has been decided that I will also need to have radiation after chemo. He estimated it will be a year before treatment is finished. OK. I can handle that.
Now that my course has been set it is time to grab mane and kick like hell. Watch out cancer, this is going to be a wild ride.
After a couple rough nights I am starting to feel pretty darn good. All systems go!
Tina has been chauffeuring me around town helping me run errands. I still have the drain tubes in and have my left arm in a sling so we get some weird looks. I have amazing self control not to flash people that point & stare. Self control is only part of it but mostly it is just really difficult given I am still corseted in this contraption that keeps my parts together.
It is really nice to get out and walk around, getting back in a normal routine. I am constantly amazed at how many breast cancer survivors are out there. The other day when Tina and I were at Dr Mounds office, a woman in the waiting room introduced herself. She said she was me 4 months ago. She was going through chemo but said that after the surgery everything else is cake. We all know how much I like cake! Looking forward to chemo, I hope they have chocolate.
Then there are the other folks. The ones who feel a desperate need to tell me that they have so many friends and relatives that have died from breast cancer and it was such a horrible, painful way to die. Seriously? Don’t these people know I am going to have cake? To these strangers I just smile, shrug and don’t respond. Let them think the surgeons removed my ears along with my breasts. I just don’t hear them.
Tuesday is tube removal day.
Very tough night. I got caught in a nasty cycle of pain, pain med nausea and more pain. Dr Mounds changed my meds so today will be better and tonight will be restful.
Now for the big news! Warning, this post will definitely qualify as TMI. You have been warned. When I met with Mounds two weeks ago, he described what I would look like post surgery. Just mounds. Today at my appointment he did the big unveiling…….I still have ‘accessories’! He was able to salvage my headlights. My boobs looks kind of normal, accept for the bruising, dents and Frankenstein stitches. Dr Mounds can call me fat until the cows come home. He is very talented and I am in awe of his awesomeness.
Ready for more TMI? All of my horsey friends will understand when I explain how exciting bowel movements are after a mare foals or a horse colics. I do a little poop dance, praying to the poop gods that things are flowing appropriately. Lets just say that I have not ‘dropped the kids at the pool’ since the surgery. Doctors are concerned so now I have more meds.
Alrighty, now that you all know so much more than you bargained for, have a great day!
What a week! Surgery went well on Monday. Monday is still a blur. I know I arrived at the hospital with breasts and woke up with a spiffy new corset cradling my mounds.
I had asked that the surgeon take a photo of my tumor. I guess they don’t do that. I was anxious to see what the beast looked like. I imagine it had horns, big teeth and a ravenous appetite. More than likely it was just a blob but I like to put a face to the name. I did name my tumor but it is not politically correct and probably considered in poor taste.
The hospital stay was fun because of the drugs and all of the nice nurses. I don’t recommend it if you are looking for a good nights sleep. It is funny when they tell you how important it is to rest but then wake you up every hour around the clock. There were plenty of wires, tubes and gadgets that needed checking.
It was so good to be released and get home yesterday. I currently have 2 dogs acting as compression bandages on my mounds. It is nice to be loved. There are still hoses and tubes dangling out of me but so far none of the dogs have tried to eat them. My daughter Tina is my nurse and takes her role seriously. She is ever vigilant that I don’t lift or use my arms. She even washed my hair. Ahhh, life is good.
The pathology results are in and it is good news. Clean margins and limited lymph involvement. My left arm will be in a sling for awhile.
Chemo starts in 2 weeks.
I have to spend on more night. Good news is one more night with my new BFF morphine.
Doing pretty good this morning. Hoping to go home late this afternoon