As October comes to an end, I felt it would be a dis-service for me not to post something regarding “Breast Cancer Awareness”. This is more like advice versus awareness. Actually this advice goes for everything health-related. Getting a second opinion can save your life. It saved mine.
Tomorrow is the day I see my beloved oncologist for my first 4 month follow-up appointment. By following other bloggers I’ve began to relate to the anxiety that sets in days leading up to this appointment. Lucky for me, I’ve been preoccupied with my daughter. Well, I shouldn’t say lucky for me because honestly, I hate seeing her sick. She’s been fighting an upper respiratory infection since Friday night. Did I mention that the weather here in Florida has been nothing short of gorgeous and she’s felt so ill that neither one of us have enjoyed it? We’ve been monitoring her temp 24/7 and now she has a cough that makes me hurt just hearing it.
I reached the max CC’s
Needless to say, the anxiety leading up to this appointment has been replaced with taking care of Gianna and 3 other doctor appointments. One of these appointments was for me and my foobs. I got another 70cc’s and I think I may have reached my max or close to it. The tissue expanders are so hard and today my chest felt really tight and uncomfortable. I’ve missed 2 days of work already and will have to miss another 1/2 day tomorrow for my 4 month follow-up appointment.
What happens now
A lot of people ask me if I got scanned after surgery to see if there are any cancer cells left in my body. The answer is “no” and I pray that I will never have to get scanned again. They only scan me if I’m symptomatic. In other words, if I’m feeling pain somewhere in my body. I’ve started running again, which feels awesome and I’ll be signing up for my first race in May. Please pray for a boring and uneventful appointment tomorrow, as that means that all is well and I can continue to work on getting my life back to normal. My family has been a tremendous part in that journey and going through something like a cancer diagnosis is something that no one wants to go through alone. In one of my first posts I said something about better things on the other side of this…..and those “things” are slowly becoming visible.
A note about my husband
I’d rather save all my bragging about my husband for my blog versus Facebook. I don’t think FB is the forum for that anyway and since this is somewhat like my diary he definitely deserves a few lines of recognition. We already have such a strong history and passionate relationship, but going through this has put us in a whole other category that I can’t even explain. I thank God everyday for bringing us together. As many of you out there can relate…..without our amazing husbands our journey would be that much more difficult. I’m 31 and since I was 15 years old he’s been one of my best friends. It makes days like tomorrow a little easier to face when you know the strength of the man you have standing beside you.
Like I said, I pray for a boring and uneventful 4 month follow-up tomorrow and I’ll be sure to post about it by the weekend. Until then….prayers please!!!
Somehow I’ve managed to completely ignore the blog world during the last 2 months. I mean, I’ve already gone back to work, started & finished radiation, AND Christmas is coming to an end. There’s been so many stories, feelings and venting that I could’ve written about been during the last few weeks, but my desire to write was pretty much non-existent. So for now, the only thing that makes sense to write about is where I am in this whole C thing. Here it goes…..
Effects of radiation – it’s not pretty
Radiation during the last 5 weeks was OK. It wasn’t horrible and it wasn’t pleasant . My last treatment was exactly a week ago tomorrow. I managed to make it through the first 4 weeks with little to no physical discomfort or skin reactions. But exactly 2 days before my last treatment my skin started reacting to the radiation by peeling. And underneath was raw, pink and getting worse as the days go on. I can’t really sleep on my right side and at night is when I have the most discomfort. My ribs are sore on the radiated side which I hear is suppose to last anywhere from 1-6 months. I’ve been pretty much lathering up with Aquaphor every couple of hours and depending on what I’m wearing I have to put these gauze like pads on my skin. Unfortunately, the worst area is right underneath my arm. It’s constantly being rubbed up against something whether its my own arm, bra or clothing. The worse was when I wore a dress with a zipper on the side. UGH. The doctor said it gets worse before it gets better. This is definitely one of the worse effects of radiation that I’ve had to deal with.
Tired. Fatigue. Sleepy.
These are just some other adjective to describe how radiation has affected me. Yesterday (Christmas Eve) was probably one of the worse days where fatigue set in. First, I went to work, then rushed home to change for what would be the first stop of many throughout the day. We had Christmas Eve lunch at Justin’s Uncles house. As always, we had a good time and we left feeling happy and full. Then we went to my uncle’s house , then his Mom’s house. Doing all this with radiation fatigue and a 4 yr old can be a bit challenging. I was so tired by 6pm! We didn’t get home until 10pm and then we stayed up wrapping the “Santa” gifts and getting everything ready for Christmas morning.
Geez, this post isn’t that positive but I will end it with saying this – I’ve never appreciated family time during the holidays as much as I have this year. It was nice to go through the holidays knowing that I was cancer free. Now, I just need to make sure it stays that way. That is a whole other post for another day. Just not today. With that I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and pray for happiness and health to all my family and friends. Looking forward to a relaxing day tomorrow. Maybe I’ll stay in PJ’s all day. Maybe.
My parents, sister and I on Christmas Eve.
My little punkin on Christmas morning.
I was outside of Toys R Us at 6:45am to get a ticket for the Doc McStuffens Care Center. No this wasn’t on black Friday or the weekend after Thanksgiving. This was just a normal Sunday morning in December. Apparently this was one of the “hot” toys this season. The best thing is that I got it for only $59.99 since they price matched with Target.
I saw this video this morning on Facebook. Below is the article I copied/pasted. Such an awesome video!! Would’ve been fun to do before my surgery, but I can honestly say this was the last thing on my mind as my nerves where outta control!
Facing a double mastectomy with grace takes courage. Facing one with courage and joy is extraordinary.
But that’s exactly what Deborah Cohan did yesterday right before she went into surgery to have her breasts removed. Cohan, an Ob/Gyn and mom of two, held a dance party with her medical team in the operating room of Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco.
This inspiring 6-minute-long video, posted on YouTube, shows Cohan busting some serious moves as she wiggles and twerks to Beyonce’s hit “Get Me Bodied.” Cohan requested that friends and family make videos of themselves dancing to Bey too so that she could watch them during her recovery. “I have visions of a healing video montage,” she wrote. “Nothing brings me greater joy than catalyzing others to dance, move, be in their bodies. Are you with me people?”
They were. You can check out videos of Deborah’s fans shaking their booties in solidarity on her CaringBridge page.
Deborah, we wish you a speedy recovery. And can we go clubbing with you when you’re all better?