Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I truly am appreciative!

I thought about my post and re-read it...I sounded like a cranky old lady! I really am not a cranky old lady. I truly am appreciative! I truly am...

So thankful for all the support and prayers! So thankful I crossed the path of Dr. Silva and believe he truly saved my life with an intuitive diagnosis. So thankful for the wonderful community and family that fought my fight with me. So thankful that Dr. AJ and his lively staff was there to raise my spirits during those dreaded chemo treatments. So thankful that invaluable health care is so close to home. So thankful to have hair (even though I keep cutting it shorter and shorter)! So thankful there are talented surgeons able to cut the big C out of my body. So thankful Dr. Cannova was willing to build new boobs for me. So very thankful to have LIFE!

Life is Great! God is Greater!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I don't know why...

I am not attempting to offend anyone, but I honestly do not know why anyone would "elect" to do this...more power to them. God knew what he was doing :-) I would do anything to have my ol' boobs back. So far, these look like a "train-wreck"! I really cannot complain...I still have not had any pain, and I guess they are hidden so I do not have to look at them often. But, they are a sight. I have a simple scar under my arm on the left breast. The right breast is definitely not as simple. I have a scar the shape of an anchor that goes straight down from the nipple and is under the breast. The surgeon also moved the nipple up so I am anxious to see how that will heal around the nipple. I will continue to pray that I can ward off infection and have complete healing.

Dan just stopped at the computer to read my post and said, "You are fine! I don't understand why you are so concerned! They look fine!" "ESPECIALLY the swelling!" Of course, he would like the swelling! This may be the only time I will fill out that special DD bra he bought me for Christmas!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Final Chapter

Finally!! We finally made it to the final chapter...the end is near. Yesterday, Dr. Cannova gave me new boobs. Yes. Boobs! Plural. He replaced the tissue expander in the left breast with a gel implant and then performed a lift and augmentation in the right breast to obtain symmetry. Due to swelling, the right one is much bigger now, but the doctor warned us it would be. He expects the swelling to subside in a few weeks. He also warned the right breast would cause me some pain. Tomorrow, we remove the dressings and shower for the first time. That is the day that makes me nauseous. I dread seeing all the incisions for the first time.

The mastectomy was a cinch! Cut it off and carve it out...no problem. This rebuilding part has not been so easy. But, as Dan did comment a few minutes ago...I have made huge improvement in the last 24 hours. I was nearly in tears last night thinking I was not going to make it to the Jefferson basketball play-off games tonight! Today was a much better day and Dan agreed to take me to the games tonight. I am Proud to be an Eagle...the boys and girls both won!

In the beginning of this post I mentioned the end is near. IF, and only IF this boob is tattoo worthy, I am going to have a little fun with it. They offered to tattoo a 3D nipple on it when this is over. But, I am thinking something a little crazy is in order. I have NEVER wanted a tattoo in my life, until now. That will truly be the final chapter.

Thanks for the prayers and support!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Month to HEAL

Dr. Cannova knew immediately what I had done and just simply shook his head "NO"! He asked me to schedule a follow-up in a month, hoping to allow DaBoob plenty of time to heal. I only have 1 more fill to go and then another healing period before surgery to replace the tissue expander with the implant. His biggest concern with the burns is infection, and so far, so good. I have also used the home remedy advice of my Mother and used sugar on the "gooey flesh" for quicker healing. Even though Dan thinks I am crazy, because the last time I used one of her home remedies it did not work out so well. Dan could not understand why I would take the chance again, but Mother was persistent and Mother is simply Mother!

If you do not know the story, we were stuffing the fridge with champagne the day before Dan and I wed. The shelf broke and 1, yes only 1, bottle of champagne broke. I had the tiniest cut on my left hand ring finger. Of course, the left hand ring finger...my entire body was there and the cut had to be on the critical body part used in the wedding ceremony. Mother had me soak my hand in kerosene that night to heal the cut. The cut did heal. Unfortunately, it sealed a staph infection in my system. I was in the ER on the morning of our wedding day and in Emergency Surgery on the Monday after our wedding. I had staph and had severed the tendon in my ring finger. Others will testify that kerosene is an OK THING, but not me. OHHH, the memories. You may be like Dan and may not be able to understand why I would attempt another one of Mother's home remedies...UNLESS you know my Mother. She is a Saint, she is completely Harmless, she always looks out for my Best Interest, she Helps me all the time, and Loves me to Infinity.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Reason

Please let us remember Jesus is the Reason! Merry Christmas to all! Hope you all enjoyed your family as much as I did this holiday season. I enjoyed Christmas more than ever before. Then, today we celebrated the Holy Family at mass! Today's scriptures meant a whole lot to me...the happiness in the Holy Family is not because they are perfect, but because together they surmounted their troubles with faith, perseverance, and love. The scriptures also remind us that Happiness can be achieved by accepting Jesus into our lives. And do not forget, whatever you do, in word or deed, do it in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Another year passes and I am ever thankful for my parents and the parishoners at St. Columba that set a great example for me to establish a relationship with Jesus. Jesus has placed me in a much larger "spiritual" family where our hurts are healed, our hearts are mended, and our souls renewed. I guarantee you that we have had our share of hurts in the last 2 years, but they are healed and our hearts are mended and I have a renewed sense of life!

Earlier this fall, Heartland Health promoted Breast Cancer Awareness with the production of a video and local commercial. These can be found on youtube. To view the video, please click this link and look for me in my Pink Santa Hat! Thank you all for giving me a Reason to Dance!

Heartland Health's Reason to Dance

The reconstruction of DaBoob has been very easy. I have been getting a weekly fill of 50 or 100 CCs and it is simply a syringe poke in a port. I have no pain and very little discomfort. The discomfort I do have is from the tightness, but I am still very lucky because it has not bothered me like other survivors I have talked to. We are awaiting the last 50 CCs into the tissue expander. Unfortunately, we will probably have to wait a few more weeks. The last time I saw Dr. Cannova, he encouranged me to do some deep tissue massaging on DaBoob. He informed me that it would be easier and more beneficial if I used a warm wash cloth to warm the area before the massaging. I have never claimed to be the smartest woman in the world...I decided that I could easily warm the area with my corn pad that is heated in the microwave. When I removed the corn pad, I saw 2 blisters on DaBoob and nearly paniced. Apparently, there is less feeling in DaBoob than I realize and the skin is still sensitive from the radiation. I literally burnt DaBoob. I have attempted to massage the areas that I can, but I anticipate that Dr. Cannova will need to let the skin heal completely before he finishes filling the tissue expander. Just a minor set-back. We should hopefully be done in 2-3 months.

Hugs & Kisses to All!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Champagne it is!

Thanks for the idea Steph...I think it is time for Champagne! The Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Cannova, said the "boob" looks beautiful. That is not quite how I would describe it, but I am encouraged by his comment. I was right on the border with my drainage, but he said I was doing so good that he was willing to remove the drain a week earlier than planned. I tried to get him to add some saline to the tissue expander, but he did not want to push our luck. I will make a trip to see him next Thursday for my first expansion. I did get released to drive and that is a relief. I do still have a lifting limitation and am supposed to stay within the 5 lb. range. Dr. Cannova asked me if I needed another Rx for pain meds and Dan told him I had not even taken any. So, then he commented that he was impressed I was able to control the pain with Tylenol and Ibuprofen, but Dan quickly corrected him and told him I did not have any pain and had not taken anything at home. He was completely impressed that I had no pain. I am ever thankful for all the prayer warriors and support!

This may be TMI, but you know me by now...the breast skin on the "boob" is completely numb. We have talked and we guess that the skin will always be that way, but I have made a note to talk to Dr. Cannova about that. It is a very strange sensation. It is also very strange to feel the squishy expander below the breast skin. It just feels like a plastic bag under there. The skin is fairly dark and I blame it on the radiation, but others have suggested that it appears to be bruised. I promise that it does not feel bruised. I have also noticed that the saline in the expander shifts, especially when I bend over to do something. It almost feels like it is going to gush right down to the floor. Funky...that is the best description I can think of. Still no pain or discomfort, just simply getting used to my newest body part and lopsided profile.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

God is Great!

Whew!!! Still not an ounce of pain or discomfort since surgery. I am in the best spirits and continue to pray the reconstruction process is truly this easy. I was elated to hear the doctor say there was NO RESIDUAL CANCER in the breast tissue...NONE. Dan immediately asked if I regretted the decision for the mastectomy and I told him, "Absolutely NOT!" I am simply thrilled to know the cancer has not been in there for several months doing its thing. NO CANCER. I can handle that message.

I will see the Plastic Surgeon on Thursday and hopefully it will be a big day for me. I will hopefully get the drain removed even though I am scheduled to have it for 2 weeks. And I will hopefully be released to drive and lift. We will see what happens. Currently, I am basically helpless and do not get much accomplished. My daily routine consists of a shower and lots of rest while everyone around me pampers me and takes care of my family.

My Mother and My Sister have been Angels of God! No one deserves to go through this alone, but not sure I deserve to have such wonderful care for my family and me. Our mass on Sunday concentrated on Heaven and THIS must be Heaven...Love to Eternity without need! I need nothing because they have already given me more than I could have ever wanted and I do Love them to infinity and beyond. Thank God for the love, support, help and prayers! God is Great!

My Aunt Marilyn is planning to come home from the hospital today and we continue to prayer for her health and happiness. She, too, is fortunate to have a strong family and support system and we will continue to be her prayer warriors!