Friday, September 14, 2012

The endless in-between

This week has been quite the roller coaster! Wednesday was my big appointment day. Got up early and got down to my cosmetic surgeon's office off of PCH. Beautiful view of the ocean over there! Anyway, we got in there and I could not figure out how to put on the examination top I had been asked to put on. Lol... I waited until Dr. Mowlavi got in the room and he assisted by getting the snap buttons all put together. Apparently there was a way to make it wearable after all! Haha. 

Pick a size, ANY size!

He didn't spend a ton of time with us as I was so unsure of the game plan. All I could offer him was the promise of surgery this month. But he needed to know if I was going to require radiation, etc. I'm not sure I comprehended this on our initial visit way back in March, but he specializes in doing immediate reconstruction as opposed to the more traditional way of doing it in steps.

I was thrilled to hear him say that, but my excitement was quickly deflated. It would only be possible if I didn't require radiation treatment. So, there was A LOT left up in the air. He had me reschedule and we're going to see him again next Thursday. This time I'll have all the information he needs.

Feeling somewhat bummed, we returned home for a while as my MRI appointment wasn't until 1pm. Unrelated, yet still related, I have panic disorder and I regularly take medication that helps me manage my panic attacks. I have been on it for years. My psychiatrist is out in the Temecula area, and seeing as I only see her once a year, I saw no point in finding a new one. Well, last weekend I discovered I'd run out of refills. I attempted to refill it and see if the pharmacy could garner her approval. It was declined. 

Now, that's understandable considering most docs want you to come see them before giving you further refills. Normal practice, but taking my situation into consideration, this seemed like SUCH a burden. In her favor, she had no idea I had this going on. I had to call and play phone tag between the pharmacy and my psychiatrist's office all day yesterday. Fun times! 

Thankfully, my persistence paid off. When she finally got the message from the receptionist she talked to me for probably 15 minutes or so and then faxed her approval for several months of refills immediately after we hung up. Phew.

Getting back to the story of Wednesday... this refill nonsense matters because I hadn't had my medication to help with my panic disorder in like, 2 days at that point. I was already kind of on edge about doing this MRI because of my possible "allergic reaction" to the CT contrast dye I had last time I had testing done. 

You'd think I would have been more logical about it as that was third breast MRI this year for me and I'd never had an issue with the dye before.  The times before I had been given a pair of headphones over my earplugged ears. I could hear the tech tell me how much time is remaining in the set, and music streams through the rest of the time. She accidentally forgot to give me that this time, so I was even more tense. I just kept my eyes shut most of the time and prayed. 

Between the prayers and having my hubby in the room, I got through it fine. :)

Me being totally sexy in my MRI getup.

Sometimes I'm convinced that the down time is far more painful than the actual testing/treatment/procedure is. Yesterday and especially today, I was convinced that was true. I spent the day with my cell phone by my side, flip-flops on and a hat within reach in case I needed to jump up and step outside to answer (we get AWFUL cell reception in our apartment).

As 2pm rolled around and I still hadn't heard a peep from my surgeon, I was afraid I'd be without the news of my results all weekend. I called their office and got through to his scheduler, who was away from her desk or on the phone already. Left a message about just checking to get my results and asked to be called back. Around 3:30pm, I was entertaining the thought of whether to go outside and try calling again. That's about when Dr. Kushner called me. 

He had presented my case to the weekly held cancer conference once again, which was why he hadn't called sooner. He sounded solemn, which worried me and must have shown in my voice because he immediately reassured me that it wasn't bad news. The tumor in my breast is gone. It has miraculously melted away, and my enlarged internal mammary lymph node is now back to a normal size. 

Awesomesauce, right? Well... mostly.

It is now a guarantee I will be having radiation. I will also be having expanders put in, and will be unable to have them filled with saline until my radiation therapy is finished. This means I will be completely flat until then. :\ 

Which as much as all that sucks, I'm the most frightened about the possibility of them wanting to try to surgically remove the lymph node. My surgeon didn't seem very keen on the idea of it, but he's going to speak with a well known breast cancer surgeon named Armando Giuliano next week and get his opinion. 

Dr. Kushner is going to be in touch with me after that, and he says as long as I'm game for it, the week following next will be the week. I told him I'm ready when he is and the sooner the better. I'm on pins and needles to get this surgery out of the way.

I will say that I am grateful to have such a compassionate medical team that is willing to take the extra time to do what will be most beneficial for me in the long run. And whatever fear I feel, I must keep reminding myself to give it up to God. He has seen me through to this point and I know He will see me through to the end.

I may not be able to see why my journey is being extended, but I'm certain it's happening this way for a reason. All I have to do is hold on to my faith and just wait this out. :)


Have you ever wondered why those days exist
When life just seems to be the conspiracy against you
I don't know where the answers lie
But I try not to get hung up on the questions

I burn like a good bonfire
In whatever I do
I burn like a good bonfire
And I know I'll come through

The time is long overdue for a house clearing of the soul
We all get so complicated in our lives
When walking just walk, when sitting just sit when being just be
Above all don't stray from your chosen path

Burn like a good bonfire
In whatever you do
Burn like a good bonfire
And I know you'll come through
Burn like a good bonfire
In whatever you do
Burn like a good bonfire
And may peace come to you
Such a beautiful song and it sums up how I'm feeling perfectly right about now. ^_^ Well, that's all for today. Have a great weekend everyone! God bless! 

"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you"   Psalm 9:10


  1. Mixed news today, huh? Tumor gone and lymph node back to a normal size, but it looks like we're in this well into next year as well! At least at some point THIS year life can return to some kind of normal.

    It's weird because I've become so used to this being our new life that I wonder how things will be once we get past your surgery. I'm afraid I'll be looking for the next thing to go wrong, so when that happens you'll need to knock some sense into me.

    And don't worry about being flat. As long as I have a healthy, cancer-free wife I could honestly care less about your implants. You're beautiful to me no matter what, and I think I've proven that over the past few months.

    Love you sweetie! Keep blowing my mind!

  2. I too had thought that I would be able to skip radiation but no such luck. I have the expanders but my plastic surgeon filled my breast to be radiated full while the other boob is at half filled status. It makes for an interesting look. I am half way through radiation currently. They have me spraying on green tea and letting it sit for 2-3 minutes, blotting it off, then applying steroid cream or a special moisturizer. I do this about 4x a day. I know it stinks when they add on a new treatment. I had radiation and a year of Herceptin added on. I definitely learned to take everything one day at a time. I hope you have a great weekend and are able to set the worrying aside. It looks like you have a wonderful hubby.

  3. Hi Anj!

    Thank you so much for leaving me such a sweet comment on my blog. Some days I am just rambling on there thinking that no one is reading or cares! So to hear that it has helped you through your journey is very heartwarming to me.
    That being said, I am SO sorry that you're having to endure radiation. I know what a blow that must be to your morale :( But the good news is they have a plan for your reconstruction and that is awesome -- it will be well worth the wait. I will continue to pray for a complication free journey the rest of the way! Stay strong, because you're stronger than you'll ever know!