Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The complicated reality

Yesterday was the day to see if my right nipple had made it or not. It is with a tinge of sadness that I say it didn't. Deep down I knew. It almost makes me angry with myself for not just telling them to spare only my left one during my mastectomy. But they thought they'd be able to save it...

God said no is all. And that's just fine. Seeing as I wouldn't be able to breast feed should we have kids down the line anyway, it was purely for aesthetics. Plus I have plenty of options. The first thing they tell me to try and cheer me up is that they can make me one with skin grafting taken from my thigh.

Maybe I'm weird, but I prefer to leave my Barbie-style franken as is. 

It's a reminder of everything I have been through. I have heard and read other women speaking about how much breast cancer is glossed over with pink ribbons and all the stories of survivorship. Which is all wonderful and I embrace it wholeheartedly, but to me, the scars and my nipple-less breast? This is reality.  This is what it's REALLY like.

It's not an incident that I can play pretend at as though it never occurred. I don't want them to fix me up like I'm some broken doll. I'm not broken. I'm simply different now and I'm stronger for it. 

Getting back to what all went down on Monday... 

I was taken back to the room where they'd do my revision before Mowlavi even looked at me. The solution helped out very well on my left side. Looks almost as it did pre-surgery. The right? I apologize to anybody with a weak constitution, but it had turned black, flat and dried out. Almost like the thickest scab you can imagine. Not just the nipple, but the areola below it and a lot of surrounding area. At least a couple inches of the skin on my breast had flat out died. Sorry sorry... it was really disgusting. :\

They warn you of complications prior to surgery of course, but just like thinking you're impervious to getting a disease like cancer in the first place, you don't think it will happen to you. 

I'm here to say it did, and there isn't a whole lot of information to find about it online either. Breast or nipple necrosis after surgery for breast cancer are not exactly a hot subject. Can't imagine why not. ;) Hahaha.

My revision was to remove 200cc of my saline from my right expander, and to have the dead skin cut out. Jason sat in the room as they did it and I'm so grateful he did, but I wish he hadn't watched it. I never once took my gaze off the ceiling or light above me. 

They numb you up really well before doing  this, but you still feel the tugging and everything. Oh, and nothing like being aware as you smell your own skin a sizzlin' from cauterization. Lol! This post is full of appetite prevention. 

Magically, and by God's grace, he removed all the yucky skin and sewed me back up. Says I'll be able to shower regularly by Thursday, and that he can refill it in 2 weeks. 

My new scar will be more like the traditional straight line across the middle of my breast. And besides my little in office procedure, I had my drains removed! YAY! Unpleasant bit to that? My left side was not nearly as numb so when he took out the drains on that side, it hurt. Oh. And then I could feel him stitching me. 

But seriously, compared to other things I've endured, that was pretty mild. I napped for a couple hours once we got back home that day. I didn't feel much pain yet.

Today I was exhausted and have a fair amount of pain again. Such a bummer considering I had been doing really well and was about back to normal before this incident. Oddly enough, the pain is not so much on my chest as it is down my right arm. My dutifully awesome hubby called to make sure this was normal. They said it was, and that it was like deferred pain. 

Whatever it is, it sucks! I pray it goes away sooner rather than later.

Well, that's all my excitement for now. I accept the Lord's will with all this and I shall continue to trust him. He has a reason for everything. :)

God bless you all and have a great week!

"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."  Romans 5:5

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bai Bai Bewbiez!: ACT II

And now, I present the second act of Bai Bai Bewbiez!


[[ HOSPITAL STAY DAY 1 | 10.11.2012 ]] --

The greater part of this day was spent sleeping off and on. They brought me food for breakfast, but it was still the liquid diet. That suited me just fine as pumping my body with the pain meds (PCA-style) every 20 minutes had made my head very cloudy. I had also been dealing with bad indigestion and some nausea. Good times!

As my parents visited early, my mom helped try to feed me some jello. Lots of ice chips were also fed to me by way of alternating between hubby and my mom at my request. Simple water didn't sound so glamorous, nor did it sound like the best idea yet.

Besides my parents visiting, my brother Sean stopped by. It meant to a lot to me that he took the time out just to see me. :) I was still very groggy, but I knew I was happy to see them all!

Dr. Mowlavi popped in to check on me. Took off my bandages and put some sticky yellow gauze junk on them and wrapped me back up. He was trying to encourage me to be released that day... hah!  I wasn't even close to ready.

I won't get into it, but it was the first time I realized what I assumed was some oddly hard, cast-like bandage the night before happened to be my new foobs.

I realize some of you may be unfamiliar with tissue expanders used in breast reconstruction. Well, it's essentially a temporary implant. They insert it under your pec muscles as I mentioned. It has a limit on how much it may be filled, but is usually filled over time with saline. It has a port, I assume is much like port-a-cath, in which they inject the saline to fill them. 

Once I have completed my radiation therapy and I have had enough fills to reach my desired size, I will have another procedure to replace my expanders with my permanent implants.

Another thing that came as a shock to me is that the expanders are HARD. Like, imagine slightly more pliable softballs shoved underneath your pectorals. I was not expecting to be filled when I awoke. And I definitely wasn't expecting to be filled so very much if I was going to be.

More on that later though... >_<;

I also found out I had 5 drains total. Two on the left and three on my right. I loathe them. That's all I will say. Ghastly pests they are.

On a happier note, although it was Dr. Kushner's day off, he also came in and checked on me. Again, PTL for this man. He ordered for my nurses to replace whatever pain medication was being dripped to morphine. I felt MUCH better and way less nauseous once that happened.

I still played it safe and stuck with liquid diet. I think I remember eating grape flavored popsicle? Haha... Still really out of it that day so my memory is a bit fuzzy on the details.

I was able to sleep better that night, which in turn meant better sleep for Jason too.

[[ HOSPITAL STAY DAY 2 | 10.12.2012 ]] --

Woke up well rested. Yeah, the nurses still milled in every 4 hours or so to check on me, empty my drains and scan my wristband to give me any meds I needed... but it was a nice, boopless night of sleep.

I started to grow weary of being bedridden right about this time. I knew I was weak, but had no clue until I was encouraged to get up and sit in a chair while I ate my first solid breakfast. Seeing as I have never before stayed in a hospital, it wasn't until this moment that I understood how gross hospital food really is. Lol. I did put away some oatmeal though. :D

My parents once again paid us a visit in the morning. One nurse lady that visited me and gave me a handbook on healing from a mastectomy suggested some things that would be useful to have at home - a wedge pillow and toilet seat riser. The thoughtful and sweet parents they are, took flight in quest to get these items for me so I'd have them once I was discharged. My mom and dad are so amazing. :)

I rested for a while before we later had a warmly welcomed fresh batch of visitors. Violet and Andrew (mommy-in-law and pops-in-law) were first. Also such amazing people. I am ridiculously blessed in so many ways, and one of them is the sheer amount of people who love my geeky butt!

My bestie Shalysa made the trip out to visit me that day too. So sweet! I know she's busy and it meant very much to have her make the drive up just to check on me and say hi!

After they all took their leave, my nurse was encouraging me to get up and try walking a bit. So on wobbly legs like a clumsy newborn calf, I got up with great effort with assistance from Jason and my nurse. They each had one of my arms and helped wheel my IV pole as we slowly trudged along. I am proud to say that I made it all around the nurses station on my first go!

Of course I was pooped after that. Lol, but I did it! 

Now, those leg squeezy things that prevent blood clots from forming while you're stuck in bed, they are uncomfortable. After you've been wearing them for well over 24 hours, they chaff. I was insanely itchy. I had to keep them on while I wasn't walking, so they brought some baby powder.

This is another moment where my hubby left me feeling as though I was in the best care possible. He'd gently take off those cuffs and apply the powder. The way he'd do it were as if I were delicate and might have broken if he applied too much pressure. Love love love that man of mine.

Had more visitors in the evening. My parents returned and then we got the most beautiful news imaginable for any cancer patient; my surgeon received the results of my pathology report, which read there were no signs of malignancy. Meaning? SUCK IT CANCER! I PWNED YOU!!!

Hahaha... okay, so more like, I pwned it along with an army of others' assistance! But you know what I mean! Without all the prayers, doctors, nurses, medication, family, friends, etc. it wouldn't have been possible. Here I am though, and I didn't think I would be saying I am cancer free this shortly after my surgery.

Nothing short of a miracle, honestly. And what a glorious testimony to the power of prayer. I'm well aware I have had hundreds of people, many of whom I've never even met, praying for my healing. It's all in the Lord's hand, but he has mercifully answered those prayers. I will never take a single day of my existence for granted.

God wants me here longer for some reason. I look forward to discovering what that reason is. ^_^

A little after we got the grand news, our friend Samara visited. Also so sweet of her! I was much much more coherent that day, but still worry I was perhaps not bouncing on all just yet. Some of my timing may be a bit jumbled. Sad to say. Haha. However, I remember feeling overjoyed and loved from the news and throughout all my visits!

[[ HOSPITAL LEAVE | 10.13.2012 ]] --

Woke up determined to leave this day... I did everything I could to get out of there. Got up and walked around as much as possible. Switched from using the PCA pain meds to strictly Percocet to control the pain.

My wish was granted, and in a short time, we were discharged. I had my IV removed and was able to get dressed. To say I remember much else that day after being put in a wheelchair and taken to the car would be a lie. My head was still plenty foggy. All I recall doing is crashing once home.

I do know that my parents were there and had bought me all the aforementioned goodies from the day before and a couple others, including a nice chair and a tray so I could eat in bed.

Jason lovingly made sure I was comfortable and settled in. Woke me up every time I was meant to take my pain medication to prevent me from waking up hurting.

So, I slept and then slept some more. :)

[[ FIRST DAY HOME | 10.14.2012 ]] --

That morning my wonderful husband helped me get cleaned up for the first time since the surgery. Can't tell you how splendid even a sponge bath feels after being unable to be cleansed for days.

Violet, Andrew, Bre and our nephew Gavin came to visit us. It was uplifting to see them all, and I gave it my best to stay awake during their stay. I eventually had to give in and go take a rest. Earlier Jason and Bre went out shopping for a while. Did some grocery shopping and also got a small dining table for us.

Jason and I didn't own one before this because we normally sit on the floor in front of our coffee table and eat. Ghetto, I know, but it worked. Not really an option for me while I had trouble getting up and down. So all of them put the table together for us while I napped, and that allowed time for Jason to take it easy too.

Later they picked us up some yummy dinner from Wood Ranch BBQ. Of course I couldn't eat nearly as much as I would have had my appetite been back to normal, but it was awfully kind all the same!

Then my MIL and SIL washed my hair in the sink. It was the first time that had happened since s-day as well. That. Felt. Fantastic. Haha! You instantly feel more clean when your hair is, I swear.

[[ FROM THEN | 10.15.2012-TO NOW ]] --

That Monday the hubby and I spent time unwinding and adjusting to me being so debilitated. I rested and relaxed the day away. He babied me. :)

My brother Michael came by and visited us that Tuesday. I really enjoyed that he stopped by. I know how busy everybody gets, and his family just got home from a week long vacation, so I was grateful that he took the time to check on me.

Then at the 1 week marker from my surgery, we met up with Dr. Mowlavi to check on things. Again, just for a refresher, the exact procedure I had done was a bilateral nipple sparing mastectomy with right axillary node biopsy.

So, the question in matter had mostly to do with how my nipples would survive. Particularly my right nipple. Seeing as I had ductal carcinoma, where the tumor is inside and in my case had grown outside of the milk duct, they had to remove as much of that tissue as possible. This makes for much thinner skin left.

The day at the hospital when Mowlavi checked on me, my right side already looked a little worse for wear than my left. He put the magical medicated yellow gauze stuff though and let it be.

Anyway, we had a brief appointment. He looked me over and thought the left was in good shape. The right side was still an issue. He wanted to wait another week and then planned for a 'revision' in office if it didn't improve by the following appointment. We sent us with the yellow gauze stuff and directed us to swap it every day.

As that first week wore on, I slowly felt like I was regaining my strength but also found myself in more and more pain. Um, to the point of tears kind of discomfort. My chest was so tight it made my breathing feel restricted and it just plain hurt. Throbbing type of hurt. I wasn't able to get the rest I required to recuperate because I couldn't sleep through the night thanks to it.

I had been taking my pain meds on time and still didn't find relief. I thought maybe it had moved on to being caused by inflammation. So, we stopped the Percocet and started Ibuprofen. Yeah. Not so helpful either.

So God bless my babeh; he stepped up and did everything he could to expedite me to finding some relief. He called Kushner and talked with him. He recommended getting back on the Percocet for the time being and made time for me to see him the following morning.

At that appointment he checked me over. He was suspicious my expanders were over filled. I had been too. He called Mowlavi to plead with him to remove some of the saline, and he said he would but was reluctant to do so. Instead, he suggested prescribing some Valium for me. I always thought this was a drug used for anxiety, but apparently it's helpful with muscle spasms too!

To rule out anything else, such as pulmonary embolism, they sent me to the hospital to get a CT done on my chest. Christ had it all under control as usual and I had no signs of a blood clot formed or forming inside my lungs.

The culprit for my agony? Muscle spasms.

All that for such a simple answer!

Happy part is the Valium has helped alleviate much of my discomfort. My chest still feels tight, and at the end of the night, my ribs feel a bit sore beneath my "breasts". Overall I'm a lot better.

Now, yesterday we went to see Mowlavi again. I was awful nervous when he had us sent back to a room I'd never seen. It wasn't an exam room. It had a weird chair, and then I was put in a room and asked to lie down. He hadn't even seen my poor right nip and was getting ready to do a revision.

He decided to let it go another week, but I was given a prescription and homework. We've got this new solution we have to put on each nipple daily. Its job? To remove the excess icky skin.  Yuck. And I can't sugar coat it. My right nipple looks gnarly. Real gnarly. Like, I'm concerned it may not be able to be saved type of gnarly.

I'm of course preparing myself for the worse, but as always, hoping for the best.

Today was the first day we applied this stuff, so we'll see how this goes.

Ah, I should also mention that I still have all 5 of my udders in place! Haha. Those drains are pesky indeed. There's no possible way you can stroll in a public place and not have people either thinking you're pregnant with some weird creature or have an odd way of storing belly fat.

I try to hide behind sweatshirts, but it has trouble hiding FIVE of these suckers.

This coming Monday they say I'll be able to get them removed. HUZZAH I SAY! So silly, but I know I'll feel much better once I don't have to lug these things around. Makes you feel like a gigantic octopus monster.

The other thing we'll find out is whether my nipple revision(s) will be simple or not. Praying they will be and this medicated solution helps.

I am getting stronger everyday. We went to see my oncologist for follow up on everything. He was thrilled with my pathology reports. He told us what we basically already knew. The plan is to put me on Tamoxifen after rads are finished. Ho hum.

I made sure to thank Dr. Wagner more than a couple times. I even hugged him, which I think may have caught him off guard. He helped save my life. It's because of his chemo regimen he had outlined for me that there was no trace of that cancer to be found after all!


That's where we're at!

Right now I'm looking forward to finally doing the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in San Diego. Not this Sunday, but next. In fact... I was originally going to wear a pink wig, but instead have opted to sport my short chemo regrowth. However, I'm going to get it dyed pink. :)

Excited about that... and frankly, am excited about life!

And the heavenly Father deserves all the praise for healing me so that I might be around still to enjoy it.

Thus concludes the story of Bai Bai Bewbiez! There will be more to come, but it shall be a new chapter in the same novel.

Until then, God bless you all and as always, thank you for your love and prayers!!!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God."  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bai bai bewbiez!: ACT I


As I'm sure you have gathered... I'm still alive!!

...and better yet you ask? 


Say what?! I know, I know... but stay with me readers! I have a lot of backstory to get through before we arrive to that. I just had to get you all hooked first! 

Like a time machine, let's travel backwards a week-ish ago...


Feeling petrified but ready, we left to go see my Dr. Mowlavi to get my official incision markings. Maybe 2 or 3 miles from home and I received a call from his office explaining he needed to do an emergency procedure and asked if we could come at 6am in the morning instead. 

Even if I were self-absorbed, I don't think I could deny someone requiring the need for emergency plastic surgery. Poor soul. 

So we returned home. Packed. My parents visited us. Took me out to dinner, which for me consisted of a cup of french onion soup, some french fries and a tiny dessert. It was pleasant and as relaxing as it could have been.

I didn't sleep well that night.

[[ S-DAY || 10.10.2012 ]] --

My alarm was set up for 4:15AM. I woke up at 3:45 wide awake, and after rolling over a few times, gave in and got up. I took my FINAL head-to-toe shower (for who knows how long).

I was in the zone by the time we left. We arrived early. Before 6, and my doctor's car was the only one in the parking lot. We could see him pouring over his computer and cranking reggae music from his office as we parked.

Once we were inside, he was all business. Started in on getting my marks on straight away. Drawing it on with a plain ol' Sharpie marker, he'd silently take a step back to look over his markings and then use a tape measure to finalize symmetry. And if anything looked erroneous? Use an alcohol pad to erase it! Very fancy medical science at work there! Haha.

We were finished a tiny bit after 6AM there, and seeing as we were both a bundle of nerves, we went back home. I actually crashed for an hour or so before we really had to leave for the hospital. 

Amazing how little time it takes for me to get myself in order when there's nothing (makeup to apply, hair to fix, pretty smellies like lotion or perfume or deodorant to put on, etc.) to get in order, might I add! Lol.

First thing on the agenda for my pre-op duties was to check in. It's staggering to me to think there are enough surgeries every single day at this hospital alone, that you have to check yourself in. I thought I would show up, tell them my name, and they magically say - "OHH, right this WAY Mrs. Donahue! Poor thing! You must be so frightened!". 

Yeah, it wasn't really like that. At. All. Hahaha. I don't blame them for that though, that's just my weirdo imagination at play. 

Reality was feeling lost as we entered the lobby. Asking info where we'd go to check me in, and then having a lady at admin for surgery check ins lead us to a touchscreen where I check myself in. Cool. Handy and all, but kind of lacking the touchy feely warmth of a compassionate human being I was so hoping for in that moment.

Surely they will take my co-pay and then escort us up to where I will be admitted afterwards though, I thought. More disillusion as I handed over the payment and the woman stuck a gray wristband on me. I can only assume that wristband meant I had checked in and paid for my "services". 

We then walked ourselves up to where we needed to be after consulting the lobby info people whereabouts again. A small window with an elderly women who was working there as a volunteer was trying to help a woman find her father who had been operated on a few hours prior. 

I'm a pretty accommodating and understanding individual. I know ALL about how shit happens in life. I was annoyed. I didn't want this put off any longer. She finally found the info she needed and began signing me in. 

No gurney beds were available for me, so hubby and I were ushered into the pre-op waiting room. Thankfully I didn't wait there long until she took me back. However, this meant parting from Jason until they would allow him to see me again after I was prepped.

I never would have been aware lest I'd just done it myself, but you're disallowed from eating/drinking anything at least 12 hours before your surgery. First thing I'm asked to do? Pee in a cup. My response to my nurse fellow at this request, "Whoa. All I can do is try". 

They gave me ultra sexy antimicrobial socks to put on with my stylin' hospital gown. Commando they requested! I suppose I knew this somewhere in my bank of useless-until-needed knowledge which I likely learned from television or movies.

There were SO many patients who needed tending to before me, so I observed everything there was to look at inside my curtained-off room as I waited. Prayed silently the whole while. Tried to keep my breathing in check so I wouldn't have a panic attack. 

Before my pre-op nurse could even get to me, I was met with the radiologist who gave me my radioactive injection for my sentinel node biopsy. Wanna know a secret that absolutely NO other survivor/patient/doctor/nurse warned me of? 

That injection for that greatly improved method of determining whether your axillary sentinel lymph nodes nearest your cancerous breast has any cancer in it? Really, really impressive and impressive feat of improvements in medicine. Seriously. I do mean that. Used to be much more brutal. 

However, that is not the secret bit... Oh no.

The secret is, they must inject this fluid into the breast nearest the armpit they're going to be checking the nodes in. Not so bad. I'm a pro, I can handle injections in my chest like nobody's business!

Yeah, yeah but they are not simple injections. No. They create 4 small, individual blisters to do so. IN YOUR AREOLA!

Oh yeah, and guess what ladies? They don't numb that shit. Lol! It might interfere with the fluid so the best they can offer is that areosol freeze spray stuff you use to get warts off. 

It did nothing to help. ;) Plus, the radiologist gives me a heads up AS he's doing the first one that it should sting. A lot. Rofl!

Ahh well though! It did give me renewed courage that if I could handle that while fully awake and awaiting having my breast tissue scooped out, I was pretty certain I could do the rest of that day while knocked out! Haha.

Still waiting for more check in and prepping (with my nipple area-age still a burnin'), they did allow Jason to come keep me company. Waiting in a hospital or any medical setting has become increasingly tricky for me to figure out exactly how much time I spent waiting. It seemed like an excrutiatingly long time though before he was sent back to be with me.

When I finally had the nurse who was to get me prepped reach me, I was holding my breath hoping she'd get that IV in me on the first attempt. PTL, she did. She also turned out to be a very nice lady named Jeanette. Had that saline and antibiotics coursing through my veins lickety split too. She ran off to ready more patients. 

My cheering section was arriving about then and were all hoping to catch a glimpse of me before I was put under. The volunteer lady brought them back one at a time. All my loving family who was able and willing to wait it out was there. My mom and dad. Mom-in-law and sis-in-laws Bre and Erin. Our dear friend Samara. Our nieces Britney and Carly even wanted to see me beforehand. 

Although he was having a hard enough time simply being present in a hospital setting, my pops-in-law Andrew was there in the waiting room the entire time. A couple other friends, Billy and Andrew, stopped by that waiting room later to support Jason/us too.

I saw all who were there and wanted to see me. I'm happy they were too. While I trusted Jesus, there are no guarantees. I wanted to tell everyone I loved, who could be there, that I loved them... just in case. 

One thing that didn't help that? Each time the volunteer woman led someone in/out to see me, she'd ask if there was anyone else I wanted to say GOODBYE to. Thanks lady! I don't care that you're not paid to be doing what you're doing, it doesn't take much sense to understand that that might be a weeee bit insensitive! Sheesh.

Truthfully, I toyed with the idea of sharing my fear at the possibility of dying in my pre-surgery post. I was optimistic because I didn't want the fear to get a hold of me. Truly it didn't fully materialize. Any prayers that were said for me to give me peace certainly worked. 

Naturally, I became increasingly nervous as time marched on and the big moment was nearing, but Jason sat there very sweetly holding my clammy hand the entire time. He talked me down and kept me from tears more than a few times. Love that fella of mine more than ever, but I will save that for the continuation of this saga!

During the time my visitors were brought in and out to, ahem, WISH ME LUCK... I have no inkling how much time passed. I also don't know how long the hubby and I were alone for. All I know is we waited. And waited. And waited. And when we thought we were done waiting? Oh, we waited some more. 

At one point, Jeanette wandered in to put those uncomfortable legwarmer things that squeeze your legs so as to prevent blood clots. I thought this to be a good sign that it was nearly go-time. I asked if it was. Dr. Kushner was still in his procedure before me. Sigh! Nothing can be done about that. You kind of need your surgeon before you can have your surgery afterall.

We didn't wait much longer after though, and once she was aware I was meant to be in surgery an hour ago, she gave us updates.
I met my official nurse who would be there in the operating room. She told me many times they'd take good care of me. Met the anethesiologist who also happened to be a really nice guy who told me the exact same thing. Lastly, saw Dr. Kushner, and he was sweet and wonderful as usual. Told me they were setting up the room for me and as soon as they were ready, it was time.

Ironically I remember the anticipating and anxious waiting more than the last few minutes before my surgery. Once they all came back to gather me and I said my temporary farewell to Jason, they gave me some sedative stuff and wheeled me off. 

I don't remember the room or if I was asked to move or anything. I only remember that mask going over my mouth and nose, and being told to breathe deeply. 

And, approximately 6 1/2 hours later (as far as I could tell, it was a few seconds later) I woke up in recovery! ^_^

I was the only one in there when I came to. A nurse were taking vitals and all kinds of stuff around me. I was impressed that I didn't feel much. I felt pretty good! My biggest gripe, as with my port-a-cath placement procedure was waking up with the sorest, driest throat imaginable.

I nodded in and out of consciousness and after having some ice chips, Jason was allowed in. I was SO relieved to see my babeh! Barely aware of my surroundings, but I knew I was safe then! They took me up to my hospital room not long after. Or um, maybe it was? Haha. 

It was a huge private room. There was a nice little daybed/couch thing for Jason to set up camp on. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had a gorgeous view. Once we were set up in my room, they let all the other wonderful people waiting for me in to see me. 

I gave every effort I had to try to stay awake and once again let them know I appreciated and loved them. I still feel guilty if that didn't translate correctly in my groggy stupor. They each gave me kisses and said they'd see me soon.

More in and out of awakeness. The PCA system was explained to me, and we were on that button before I felt a whole lot of pain usually. Of course my heart raced almost ALL night, so as soon as my pulse picked up to 130, the monitor would boop and frighten me. I'd panic, which would cause my heart to race more, etc. etc. Unending cycle. 

My nurses that night were fabulous. They stood by me for much of the time and tried to do everything to could to get me to relax. I think I had 2 EKGs and my other vitals checked dozens of times. At one point, I remember admitting to them that I suffer from panic disorder.

They got the doctor on the floor to come by and give his 2 cents. He ordered them to double my fluid intake and give me an Ambien. God bless that man for that. 

It took time for my heartbeat to calm down... but it did return to a more normal range eventually. Until my body did give in, 4aAs soon as I'd begin to doze, my pulse would start up again. Poor hubby would get up, press the button off and lie back down. Literally every 5 minutes or so. 

That wonderful Ambien did calm me and I did get some rest. We both did. Although not as much as we would have liked. It was much, much needed. Another thing I was happy to have? A catheter. Lol. So gross and yet, so so true.

 I had no worry as to what my chest situation was. All that mattered was sleep. 

Thus concludes our opening act of Bai bai bewbiez! Please return after a short intermission for the continuation within the next few days! ;)

For now, God bless you all and thank you for following!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Keep calm and carry on

Tomorrow is the day, finally; finally... so why am I so nervous? I have been waiting for my surgery day to arrive since my diagnosis back in March. Rather impatiently I might add. Leave it to me to procrastinate my anxiety regarding it until nearly the last possible moment. Haha!

But once again, I remind myself that I must trust the Lord. So after a night of unrestful sleep, I got up this morning to go to church one late time before my procedure. I didn't pray that it would go well. I prayed for His peace in the time leading up to it. I prayed for my husband, my family and friends as I usually do. I thanked Him for all His blessings he's bestowed me with. 

I know it's all in God's hands. So regardless of how I pray for things to go smoothly, it's up to Him. 

And I trust Him.

That doesn't mean I am without fear. I have never had major surgery. I don't think I truly felt any sort of nerves about this until I realized how much check up was needed just to be given clearance. 

We also had a scare during all that. I had my EKG done, and it came back abnormal. I have never had heart issues. However, since I have been given so much chemotherapy, I was worried it might have been effected. Same day we went to a cardiologist. Got the same reading. I'm still terrified about that if I'm honest with myself. 

The cardiologist reassured me that since I don't have any symptoms that would imply I actually have a heart condition, that all should be fine. I have had a couple of echocardiograms done this year. One before chemo, and then at the midway point of my last regimen. All looked fine through those. So the doctor suggested my heart might be positioned a bit differently, since EKGs have standard positioning. This would explain an abnormal reading. 

I think that no matter how you slice it, when they're talking about YOUR heart, it's freaky. 

Had my chest x-ray, and then some more blood work and pee test. I never heard anything until yesterday when the nurse called me to ask me some pre-op questions. To me, that says I'm clear for surgery. ;) 

In a few hours, the hubby and I are going to see my cosmetic surgery one last time. He's going to mark me up for tomorrow, think "cut here" style haha. I think I may finally pick my future breast size (yay!). 

I somehow neglected to mention it before, but tomorrow happens to be my Mommy's birthday. Kind of crummy that she has to spend it in a waiting room... but I feel blessed that she will be there. I love her more than I could even begin to describe. So, Happy Birthday Mama, and THANK YOU!! For always being there and everything else you do and continue to do for me/us. I couldn't ask for a better mother. 

Alrighty, here's my song choice for the masses:

And one for Jason. Because I love him a lot, and it's been a long long road for us. I want him to know how much it means that he's still here by me through this fight: 

Well, that should about do it. My nerves are frayed and I think I'd actually like to get my mind off of what's ahead of me before distracting myself isn't an option. :P 

From the bottom of my heart, I want thank you all who have been praying for me and supporting me. It means the world to me, and I am forever grateful.

Praying and wishing you all only the grandest of weeks. 

God bless. :)

 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."   John 14:27