Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Held me down but I got up

Hi again dear blog!

Sooo, my surgery is TOMORROW! Haha, Obviously, I have had my date for a while, but procrastination, yada yada, etc. ;)

On August 29th, I will get getting my brand new shiny set of foobies! No more mean ol' expanders. Which, I'd like to apologize to everyone who has hugged me in the past 10+ months. Particularly the more recent hugs. It's gotta be painful to hug a person with softballs implanted in their chest.

Soon enough they will be a thing of the past. Graduating to something closer to actual breasts will bring about better closure to this saga. I don't doubt I will never feel the same about my body, it can't be the same... because it's not. But, just as going to radiation treatment daily was a constant reminder of the cancer, so are these tissue expanders.

So they will receive a big, fat GOOD effing RIDDANCE from me upon their leave.

They have been a nuisance the entire time they've been living in my body. I'm not even sure if I have explained how very deeply I despise them. They press heavily on my chest and make me feel very short of breath at times. Although it sounds like some lofty excuse, I accredit my lack of routine exercise this year largely in part to this chest tightness/shortbreathed-ness. It bums me out.

Aside from that, I'm a side sleeper. For the past 10 months I have had to be a forced back sleeper. It's terrible. I keep two pillows on either side of me under my arms so I don't roll over. It still happens from time to time. I'll wake up crazy sore because I accidentally slept on my side or stomach a bit.

Come tomorrow morn, it will soon be a thing of the past. Granted I have to wait until I'm all healed up before I can probably sleep on my side again... but hoping and praying that chest tightness will be long gone.

 Yesterday was my last day working for the next 2-3 weeks. While I know I'll miss all my work buddies, I think this forced staycation is sorely needed. I do everything possible to remind myself not to feel frustrated with my lack of energy, but it's tough. I know before all this cancer treatment I would not tire so easily. I do wonder how long the fatigue will stick around. Ah well, now is not the time to be hard on myself! I gots relaxing and trying to keep my mind busy today so I don't succumb to my pre-surgery nerves.

Subconsciously I've been way ahead of myself. I've had issues staying asleep for the past several days. Even when I've been exhausted.

Thankfully I was prescribed Valium to take for surgery related anxiety. So here's to hoping I'll be well rested come the morning.

You'd think I wouldn't be afraid since this will be my third surgery, but I guess being nervous just comes with the territory. I keep on reminding myself over and over that it's in God's hands. And it is. So why bother worrying? There's nothing I can do about it anyway. :P

So today I'm not allowed to have alcohol or caffeine. The big one for me is the caffeine. Working at Starbucks, you kind of wind up dependent on the stuff. I feel all groggy and sluggish without it.

Harder yet will be abstaining from drinking any water after midnight. That's the worst. The no eating part? I'm not especially hungry prior to going under the knife anyway, but I do get crazy thirsty. That's one thing that can't really be fully described unless you've gone through it. Once they get those IV fluids pumping in ya, it's so sweet. Suddenly you don't feel thirsty. So strange.

Now that I'm thinking of it, they must think I'm a pro by now at this whole business. I got so little verbal instruction aside from a handout that was given to me when I signed necessary paperwork to undergo the procedure. I suppose it is a good thing I know the drill then!

For curious readers, YES I am going bigger than what God had given me naturally. This is the only situation I would have ever personally condoned implants for myself... so why not at least get something I want out of it? I had to go through a crap ton to get my booby upgrade! Haha

The deets are my surgeon is going to be using a "gummy bear" implant. It's made of a cohesive silicone filling and is teardrop shaped. Should look more like real breasts and shall be much less likely to cause rippling to occur.

These are the delicious, REAL inner contents of gummy bear implants... ;) (j/k!)

He also told me the size will be 550cc-700cc. I know that's a big gap but it has a lot to do with what he thinks will work. I'm filled at 500cc in my expanders and they don't seem all that big. We shall see!

After I'm all healed, I'll have some fat grafting around the implants so it'll look more natural. I can't wait! I shy away from low cut stuff these days. It's not very pretty for any of us to have to see, but I'm hoping that will be an option again sooner than later.

This morning I got up early and went to church. I wanted to go mostly so I could say thank you. I do it everyday, but when it's in His house, it feels different. So I did just that. Spent most of my time praising Him for giving me strength to fight. For allowing me to be at this point. I never thought I would have had the mental fortitude alone.

I am so very, very blessed. I pray that His love may shine through me and I can help others so they might see themselves as being blessed as well. No matter how much or how little you have, what you have is a blessing. What you don't have doesn't matter as much.

Speaking of blessings... I had some really amazing times over the past few days. Jason and I got to spend time with my parents on Saturday. Had some lunch and enjoyed one anothers' company. :) Then Sunday we got to see Violet (Jason's Mom), both his sisters and their families! We all had a nice linner together. Loved sharing time with family all weekend. It's such a gift!!

My Dad took this pic of us while we were out at lunch.

One of Jason's co-worker buddies, Jack, had been inviting us to come out for a cruise on his sailboat some time. We took him up on it on Monday! Had wonderful company and got to meet the amazing people he's currently working with. It was exceptionally peaceful and relaxing.

Our beautiful view from the sailboat.

And I think that's about all I've got for now everybody! Blessings and happiness and love to you all as always. Now go out and be the best you. Never less. ^_^ 

"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation"  Isaiah 12:2

Sunday, August 4, 2013

And she walks

Dear blog,

I am feeling deeply contrite for neglecting you. As is sadly common, in living normal life you take for granted the things which are normal. What I mean is that I've not posted because things have been going well! 

Not the worst of all excuses for my lack of posts, but still an excuse all the same. 

So with my apologies out of the way, I'd now like to update you on the newest!

Last I left you all, I was preparing to finish my radiation therapy. I did very happily complete it all back in May with no further hiccups.  To cross that final treatment finish line was beyond sweet. The commitment to go Monday through Friday was so mentally taxing. I almost didn't know how to react when I no longer had that obligation each day! 

I still tire very easily in comparison to my pre-diagnosis/treatment days. However, it's a vast improvement where I am energy wise versus my stamina level during radiation. 

Could I tell you that I'm running marathons and able to work 12-hour days and still go out afterwards? Oh hell naw! Haha. But I do feel a gradual return of energy. VERY gradual. Like, snail paced actually... but an improvement is still an improvement, right?!

After closing the radiotherapy chapter of my cancer saga, I had to wait for a couple of places on my right breast to fully heal up before seeing my cosmetic surgeon. One spot was particularly stubborn as it would JUST. NOT. HEAL. 

It was teeny-tiny too. One day there was a small thing poking from it that turned out to be another stitch my body decided it wasn't going to absorb. Once that sucker came out, it healed up in no time. I called and scheduled my first post rads saline expansion. 

Doc decided to fill only my left side as it was in need of it because it was deflated so much for better access during radiation. This last Thursday was to be my next fill. Went in with only the intention of getting closer to the size I want to be at. 

We went in not expecting much because at my last appointment, Dr. Mowlavi told me he'd like for me to wait 3 months more until we did my exchange swap surgery. 

Boy were WE surprised!

I did get a fill on my right finally, and quite well more to the size I will be, but it seems there may be a very slow leak in my left expander. I guess normally if there happens to be a leak, there would be a surgery to swap out that tissue expander. Seeing as I'm so close to being done, he favored moving up my swap surgery instead.

I bet you can guess who's going under the knife again in the next few weeks?! This Anj! 

Exceedingly unexpected but it is what it is and I trust God. I trust His goodness, His timing and His will. This is when it's supposed to occur, so it will. ^_^

I don't have my official date, but I will after tomorrow. I've had a follow up appointment scheduled to see Dr. Wagner for months so I'm seeing him after I get off work. Then I'm shooting straight over to pick up and sign papers for my forthcoming surgery from Dr. Mowlavi's office.

Haha, oh! And I'm seeing Dr. Wagner to report on how I'm doing being on Tamoxifen and finally the order for my CT scan. I'd been anxiously awaiting that. No matter how official papers are claiming there is no more cancer in you, my mind tells me I've been done with treatment for 3 months now. I finished chemotherapy nearly a year ago! In the back of each survivor's mind is that darkest of fears, "what if it came back?". 

Until I have more finalization that those terrible self sabotaging cells of mine are still 100% bye bye, I won't have complete peace of mind. The trouble is, I don't know if I'll be able to swing all these doctor appointments between everything depending on how quickly my surgery date shall arrive. 

Gotta jump through those hoops again. Clearance from the primary care physician who then asks you to have x, y and z exams done elsewhere. If I throw in a scan, finishing up possible dental work I've been procrastinating about, and fitting that all in between my work schedule... you might say I'm a little frazzled inside.

Here we go again, Lord! ;)

So what, pray tell, have I been doing in my blogging absence you ask? Well, working. And then working. And then recovering and napping and gaming and reading. And then working some more. :) Pretty standard, normal life living type of stuffs. Soaking up the pleasant little things and griping over insignificant ones like some sort of average joe. Essentially, relishing the normalcy I was robbed of by cancer for 15+ months. :P

My hair has grown. I had to get a trim a couple weeks ago. I don't know why hair inherently becomes a mullet as it grows out from nothingness, but it does. I had the hair stylist trim that party in the back to match the business in the front STAT. I hated my curls with a fearsome loathing at first, but I've grown fond of them with time. It makes me feel a little old timey. Like some sort of dame with lazy finger waves!

I have never received so many compliments on my hair as I have in the past 6 months or so. It might be slightly atrocious of me but I take great delight in people's responses when I explain why curls have not been the primary texture of my hair all my life. Some people handle it very gracefully. Others are speechless. Some are apathetic. It's intriguing to see which I get. 

Could I hold the truth from a stranger? Easily, but I feel like more people should be exposed to the reality of how commonplace cancer is. Almost everyone you know has had someone close to them touched by the disease in one way or another. Yet we still shy away from it as though it's something contagious. Like you could will it upon yourself or your loved one by saying its name three times simultaneously. Lol 

I was guilty of this thinking at one point too. I thought of the C as a disease that ends only in death. It could happen to the "other guy" and maybe even his family or friends, but it couldn't happen to MY family. Nope. Or MY friends. And least of all, to ME.

You would think that as a society, we would have grown to see that isn't true in the slightest. If this disease can happen to sweet babies and children, it can happen to anybody at any time for no tangible reason. Allow me to emphasize tangible. Surely there is plenty of reason for it, yet we may find none for it here.

Anyhow, my Susan G. Komen 3 Day fundraising is not going all that well. I suppose that I've not put enough into it either. I'm still going to give it my best to reach my minimum, but if either Jason or I can't reach that $2300, we can't walk. :( Simple as that. I'm so grateful to the few who have donated in our names. So to the few of you who have, your kindness and help is a blessing! Thank you!

And if any of you kind souls do happen to be interested in donating: CLICK MEEEEE! :D 

With that, I think I've reached that point of I've said all I'd like to say for now! Thanks for reading and following along. I will do a smallish update once I have my implant surgery date in sight.

Until then, I'm wishing you all the very best always. Lots of love and happiness and good things! God bless and take care.

"Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."  2 Thessalonians 3:16