Thursday, June 18, 2009

Through Her Eyes

It is the last week of school for my children which means they have been bringing home all of the "valuable junk" that they have in thier lockers and their desks. While most of it is truly junk, I found a collection of poems that Cailey wrote for an assignment. One of them brought me to tears.

The phone rings loudly
My mom answers it quickly
My mom has Cancer

Cailey was the only person at home with me when I got that call from my doctor telling me that I had cancer. I cried so hard that I couldn't talk to her to tell her what was wrong. She immediately went into action and grabbed the phone and asked me who she should call. In the end, she called my sister as my husband was on a bike ride without his phone. It was Cailey that had to sit with me during the initial shock.

I have worried about how my having been diagnosed with cancer would affect my kids and for the most part I think they are pretty grounded and well-adjusted.

What I didn't realize though is that the moment when I received that phone call is so vividly imprinted in her head. Just one moment, that is all it took.

I hope to imprint many happy memories over the top of that one. As always, I am humbled by the compassion, love and inner beauty of my children.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I am fully aware that I chose to have this most recent surgery and that many people are in a position of requiring surgery instead of electing to do so. I know all of that and I also know that there is a certain amount of recovery time needed for any type of surgery. I also know that I am lucky to have only minor pain and some swelling to contend with.

What I do still have to contend with though is stitches and surgical dressing which means I do not get to shower until they are gone! There is a certain appeal to not showering for one day and lounging around in your pajamas and I did that for a day or two. But besides taking shallow/sponge baths and having my kids wash my hair for me, I have not taken a shower for over a week. It is starting to drive me crazy.

This is a good lesson for me-note to self: Never agree to sign up for the Survivor Reality Show where you can't shower for a month.

Overall, I am happy with the surgery and the results. I have a slight concern about the amount of fluid I still have on my right side but the rest seems like normal swelling to me. I am glad to be done with surgeries for quite awhile.

I am happy, but can a girl just take a shower already??

Saturday, June 13, 2009

3 Day Expo

Today I have been asked to sit on a panel to discuss fundraising ideas for the 3 Day event. The expo is at Shoreline Community College. I am honored to be asked. I have raised 6850.00 so far and still have until September to continue to raise money. I hope to be able to take advantage of everything the expo has to offer and if I can offer up an idea or two to others in their fundraising efforts-even better.

My grandmother is going with me to the expo. I am thrilled that she wants to see what the hoopla is all about!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Surgery went quite well. I ended up staying one night in the hospital for no real reason except so my surgeon could change my dressings in the morning. I am definitely swollen and have many colorful bruises, but have been off of pain medication since Sunday and feeling not bad. No surgeries are fun, and this one is no exception. Because tissue was taken out, I have to be wrapped to keep the swelling down. Mostly this makes me feel like a human sausage, but that is what I signed up for. I go in tomorrow for my post op appointment so will have a chance to actually see the results.

I am on the mend and I thank everyone for their good wishes.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Under the knife

The weather has been so incredibly beautiful and I have been able to spend time working in our yard. It is nice to be feeling back to normal so I have the energy to do so.

It is that part that makes me a little anxious about tomorrow's surgery. I have been feeling really great for several months now as far as my energy, strength etc and I hate to give that up again. But I will do it anyway.

Tomorrow I will go back in to Swedish for some reconstructive surgery. Because I had a lumpectomy and the amount of tissue they removed was pretty large, I am not very symmetrical currently. I have three choices to deal with this; 1)live with it, 2)get an implant on the left side to match the right side, 3)Reduce the size of the right one to match the left one. I have chosen option 3. I have been large breasted since high school and previous to all of this breast cancer mess had thought seriously about doing a breast reduction. I will have a reduction on both sides so that I am symmetrical and smaller.

There are definitely risks to this surgery as the left side has been radiated and radiated skin and tissue sometimes have a difficult time healing. Radiated tissue also develops into scar tissue so most of what is there currently is scar tissue which could make the actual procedure more difficult for the surgeon.

I am not at all looking forward to having to face recovery from more surgery, but I'm hoping this will be my last one for quite awhile. I am however looking forward to having a cup size that is closer to the beginning of the alphabet and having two breasts that are the same size and shape.

Because I have had cancer, all tissue removed will go to pathology. This of course scares the daylights out of me to think that they might find something that I am currently unaware of, but I think it will also be good to make sure there truly is no cancer left. I will keep my fingers crossed that they will find just plain, boring tissue.

My friend Michael went under the knife this week for oral cancer and my friend Ankie will go under the knife one more time on June 11th for breast cancer. Cancer is definitely keeping the surgeons busy! I am thankful that my surgery is elective and that I can say this will be the last one. I look forward to the day that the three of us can celebrate our victories.